I think I speak for the entire Awful Announcing gang when I say that NFL Red Zone is one of the most beloved sports television inventions in the history of the genre. Now, you could argue that the host for such an amazing program wouldn't be important, but Andrew Siciliano, who hosts the DIRECTV version of the channel, has endeared himself to football fans as making the gig seem like as much fun as a football fan could dream it up as being.
In a welcome surprise, NBC has decided to try to tap in to some of the spirit and talent of Siciliano and the Red Zone channel for their Olympics coverage. NBC had something called Gold Zone during the 2012 London Olympics, but it wasn't hosted and was mostly, as NBC execs joked during a press event in New York on Tuesday, "just somebody flipping a switch to different feeds." This time, the program will get a revamp and a host, one of them being Siciliano.
Siciliano and Golf Channel's Ryan Burr will go live from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET starting Feb. 8 through the end of the Sochi Games. NBC livens things up in the press release, but it is essentially Red Zone for the Olympics. Events aren't limited to Gold Medal events, as intense moments in team sports like hockey or curling and just plain exciting Olympic action will be covered.
Also returning as part of NBC's digital offerings in Sochi will be Olympic Ice, a show NBC debuted in Torino during 2006 to cover Olympic figure skating more thoroughly. The show will air every day from Feb. 7-21 at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCOlympics.com. NBC Sports MLS and NHL host Russ Thaler and 2002 gold medalist Sarah Hughes will present the prgoram.
NBC will stream almost everything, save for the Opening Ceremonies, live on laptops and mobile devices. They'll also provide Olympic News Desk updates, which will be hosted by Julie Donaldson and will run on NBCOlympics.com throughout the day. Overall, NBC will stream over 1,000 hours of coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics.