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NBCU Cable Nets Get Olympic Assignments

5/21/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

When it comes to Olympics coverage
this summer, MSNBC will present action across 20
competitions, CNBC is once again stepping inside
the squared circle, and Bravo will serve as the de
facto tennis channel of the London Games.

NBCUniversal has set its basic Olympic programming
lineups for MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo,
which together will combine to televise 284.5
hours from the quadrennial Summer Games.

The cable scheduling follows the May 14 announcement
that Comcast-controlled NBCU’s
Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo will
present 173 hours of action from London.

MSNBC, which has aired Olympic coverage from
every Summer Games since the 2000 quadrennial in
Sydney, will host 155.5 hours, featuring an array of
Olympic action. CNBC will carry 73 hours of boxing
coverage — including the debut of women’s boxing
— and Bravo will become the home of Olympic tennis,
with 56 hours of coverage.

“MSNBC will have a lot of coverage of different
sports, while we will be more focused with the competitions
on Bravo and CNBC,” NBC Olympics president
Gary Zenkel said in an interview.

The lineups for NBC and NBC Sports Network,
which will carry as much as 300 hours from London,
an Olympics cable record, are expected to be
announced by month’s end, if not sooner, NBCU officials said.

VARIED EVENTS ON MSNBC

Over 19 days, MSNBC will air up to 18 medal
rounds and 20 different Olympic sports from badminton
and basketball to soccer and wrestling. MSNBC
will actually kick off NBCU’s London Olympic
coverage on July 25, two days before the opening
ceremony, when Great Britain faces New Zealand
in women’s soccer, live from Millennium Stadium
in Cardiff, Wales. Coverage begins at 10:30 a.m.
ET/7:30 a.m. PT.

MSNBC will also carry soccer qualifying on
Thursday, July 26, but there will be no coverage on
July 27 as there are aren’t any televised events scheduled
on the same day as the opening ceremony. MSNBC’s
presentation will conclude August 12, the
final day of competition. Most weekdays, coverage
will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, with longer windows
on the weekends.

Longtime Golf Channel commentator Kelly Tilghman
will serve as MSNBC’s Olympic host, with London
her first-ever Games assignment.

“There are a lot of diverse events. MSNBC continues
to offer a broad array of sports, providing plenty
of live competition from London,” Zenkel.

AFTER MARKET, BOXING

For its fourth consecutive Summer Games, CNBC
will be on the boxing beat, jabbing coverage over 16
days, July 28-August 12, starting with elimination
bouts and concluding with the men’s and women’s
finals. Same-day coverage will air 5-8 p.m. during
the week, with six hours of live coverage airing each
day on the weekends.

Fred Roggin, the longtime lead sports anchor
at NBC’s owned-and-operated station in Los
Angeles, KNBC, will reprise his Beijing role as
Olympic boxing host. This will be his seventh
Olympics working for NBC and fourth working
on Olympic boxing
in some capacity.

“We have found
that boxing works
well after the market
closes,” Zenkel
said. “We will continue
to showcase
Olympic boxing on
CNBC.”

Returning to the
Olympic stage for
the first time since
the Athens Games
in 2004, Bravo will
volley 56 hours of
long-form tennis
coverage over seven
days, from July
28-August 3. Live
coverage will air
from early morning
until mid-afternoon
(ET) on most days.

Pat O’Brien, a veteran of five Olympic Games as a
commentator, will host. London will mark O’Brien’s
fourth Olympics for NBC and sixth overall.

“Bravo has an audience that is slightly more compatible
with tennis fans,” Zenkel said. “We think
Olympic fans in general, and tennis fans in particular,
will be pleased by the coverage.”

NBCUniversal is billing Telemundo as “the U.S.
home of the Olympic Games in Spanish,” as the
broadcast network will present 173 hours from the
2012 event. Telemundo’s comprehensive coverage
will showcase boxing, swimming, basketball and
soccer.

Telemundo will deliver a complete 360-degree
Olympic experience across its multiple platforms,
including its broadcast network, NBColympics.com/Telemundo and cable network mun2, which will offer
a daily half-hour special featuring behind-thescenes
stories from the Games.

Also, for the first time in its history, Telemundo
will offer live streaming of broadcast coverage together
with exclusive digital-only content of Olympic
events, news, announcements and information
via the aforementioned website, totaling more than
200 hours of content.

September