Over the years, viewers of NBC’s Olympic coverage have complained about the lack of live sports. No matter where the host country has been, whether it’s been in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Russia, Greece or Botswanna (ok, the Olympics have never been held in Botswanna), NBC has held the glamor events for primetime and sometimes delaying the events for more than eight hours.

But with the Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro and just one hour ahead of the Eastern United States, NBC notes that this year will be different. Not only will the hours of consumption increase from the 2012 London Olympics, but NBC says 2016 will be the “Most Live Olympics Ever.”

Overall, NBC says it will air and stream a total of 6,755 hours (compared to over 5,500 in London) over its platforms emcompassing 11 networks and its NBC Sports app. Thanks to NBC, we have the breakdown of what sports you’ll see and how many hours on each network:


NBC will air 260½ hours. They’ll include daytime coverage from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ET and PT, primetime from 8 p.m.-midnight ET and PT and in late night from 12:35 -1:35 a.m. ET and PT.

Viewers to the broadcast network will see coverage of the glamour sports of the Olympics such as beach volleyball, diving, gymnastics, swimming, track & field, volleyball and the men’s and women’s basketball gold medal games. In addition, NBC will air the Opening Ceremony on Friday, August 5 and the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, August 21.

Rebecca Lowe back from maternity leave, Al Michaels and Dan Patrick will be your daytime hosts. As usual, Bob Costas will host primetime. The overexposed Ryan Seacrest will front late night.


NBC Sports cable sports network will be the home to 330 hours of Olympic programming. The NBCSN broadcast day will begin at 8 a.m. ET and end at midnight, some 16 hours of non-stop coverage from Wednesday, August 3, two days before the official start of the Games through Sunday, August 21.

It will feature Team USA soccer plus Team USA men’s and women’s basketball games. In addition, it will air track & field preliminary heats plus sports not usually seen on NBC including archery, boxing, cycling, fencing, field hockey, judo, open water swimming, rugby, shooting, soccer, synchronized swimming, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.

Hosts will be the NHL on NBC’s Liam McHugh and Carolyn Manno plus Rebecca Lowe and Dan Patrick coming over from NBC.


Bravo will the home to 94½ hours of Olympic tennis. The tennis tournament will run from Saturday, August 6 through Sunday, August 14. Bravo will air the women’s final on Saturday, August 13 while the men’s final will be shown the next day.

Dave Briggs and Tennis Channel’s Brett Haber will share hosting duties on Bravo. Awful Announcing has learned that Rennae Stubbs will be one of the analysts on the tennis coverage.


NBC’s business channel will air 42 hours on weekdays following its news coverage at 5 p.m. ET and lasting until 8 p.m. The network will show elimination-round coverage of basketball and volleyball plus archery, beach volleyball, cycling, rugby, water polo, wrestling and other sports.

Fred Roggin of NBC’s Los Angeles affiliate, KNBC, will be the CNBC studio host. He’s covered every Summer Olympics for NBC dating back to 1984 and has served as a host for boxing and other sports for the Peacock’s Olympics coverage.


With golf back in the Olympics for the first time since 1904, it’s only natural that Golf Channel will be the home of the Olympic golf tournament. The channel will show 115 hours of programming including live golf and studio shows.

The men’s competition will be held from Thursday, August 11 through Sunday, August 14 while the women will play from Wednesday, August 17 through Saturday, August 20.

Calling the men’s tournament will be Terry Gannon and Steve Sands. Johnny Miller and Nick Faldo will share the 18th tower with David Feherty, Peter Jacobsen, Roger Maltbie and Curt Byrum rounding out the crew.

For the women’s tournament, Golf Channel will have Gannon and Sands on the call with Annika Sorenstam and Judy Rankin rotating as analysts. Tom Abbott, Jerry Foltz, Kay Cockerill and Karen Stupples will be part of the team calling the action as well.

Golf Channel will also have its signature “Live From” program airing before and after each round.


Viewers to NBC’s cable news network will see 78½ hours of coverage devoted to men’s basketball, beach volleyball, rugby, soccer, volleyball and water polo.

Senior Vice President of NBC Sports Ventures Rob Simmelkjaer will be the host on MSNBC.


The network known for airing hit shows like “Mr. Robot” will be showing 110½ hours  beginning on Wednesday, August 3 with women’s soccer and ending on Sunday, August 21. USA’s Olympic broadcast day will go from 9 a.m. ET until 5 p.m. It’s slated to show beach volleyball, cycling, men’s basketball, rowing (we’ve learned F1 on NBC’s Leigh Diffey will be calling this sport), synchronized swimming, volleyball, water polo and other sports.

Hosting on USA will be Ahmed Fareed from Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.


NBC’s Spanish language networks will air 273½ hours of coverage, 100 more from London. Both networks will cover plenty of Olympic sports most notably soccer and the Mexican team which won a gold in London.


Participating providers will offer basketball and soccer games on two dedicated channels. These channels will show the Olympic Broadcasting Services feed of the games over a span of 779 hours. Each channel will air the respective sports for every day they’re in competition. The soccer channel will begin on Wednesday, August 3 while the basketball channel starts on Saturday, August 6.

If you want to ensure your pay TV provider offers these channels, you may want to start calling in now.


NBCOlympics.com and the NBCS Sports app will stream some 4,500 live hours including all of the competitions. You will be required to authenticate to see the coverage so you’ll need a cable or satellite TV subscription to log in to see the coverage. You can watch on your computer, mobile phone or tablet.

For the first time, connected TV’s set tops including Apple TV, Google Chrome and Roku will show Olympic programming through the NBC Sports app.


NBC will provide Olympic programming in 4K on a one-day delay. Some 83 hours of coverage will be shown. The 4K coverage will be provided by Olympic Broadcasting Services and Japan’s NHK and pay providers in the U.S. can choose how they distribute the content to their customers.

NBC will also produce Virtual Reality programming, however, details of that have not been released yet.

NBC’s owner Comcast will also have all kinds of on-demand programming and on-screen information for its Xfinity customers.

So you’ll have plenty of programming to choose from whether on TV or on your favorite mobile device. You can’t watch all of the 6,755 hours, but there will probably be someone who will try.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.