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TCA: NBC Sets Kerrigan-Harding Olympics Doc

Lazarus Says Sochi Coverage Will Address Russia's Political Issues 'As They are Relevant' 7/27/2013 3:35 PM Eastern
 

 

Los Angeles -- NBC Sports Group has set a documentary about former Olympic figure skaters Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding to air during its coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics, the network announced at the TCA press tour on Saturday.

Mary Carillo will have an exclusive interview with Kerrigan as well as Harding, and look back at the lead-up to the 1994 Lillehammer Games, when Kerrigan was attacked by Harding's then-boyfriend, and talk about how the scandal affected both of their lives over the past 20 years.

NBC's Olympics coverage begins Thursday, Feb. 6, a night before the Opening Ceremony, and while executives said they are optimistic about the Russian location, it does raise some cultural issues like Russia' anti-gay laws.

"It comes with political and social issues, and we will address those issues as they are relevant at the time of the Games," said NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus.

NBC said it will build on the technological innovation of the London Games, which were the first to stream every event live online, but Lazarus defended NBC's tape-delay strategy to feature marquee events in primetime, pointing to 2012's record ratings as proof the audience was on board with it.

"What we learned in London is people who streamed events live during day tended to watch our packaged show in primetime," he said. "With the addition of each device they added more viewing."

There was one thing NBC wasn't willing to defend though - its cutting away from the Closing Ceremony to show an episode of Animal Practice, which drew major backlash last summer.

"We learned some things along the way. You don't make same decisions twice," Lazarus said. "I don't think we would put ourselves in position to do that again."

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