With the start of Sochi Games now less than 100 days away, NBC Olympics has unveiled its coverage plan for three of NBCUniversal's cable channels, as CNBC, MSNBC and USA Network will combine to present almost 125 hours from Russia.
CNBC will serve up 36 hours of curling via a daily weekday show, while MSNBC will deliver 45 hours of live hockey and curling coverage. For its part, USA Network also will air live curling and hockey, including three Team Canada men’s hockey games, as part of its 43 hours of live programming.
The programming on these fully distributed linear channels will complement the fare airing on broadcast network NBC and NBCSN, which will become the primary cable home of the 2014 Winter Games. Details on those networks’ lineups are expected to be announced shortly.
Coverage on the linear networks will be supplemented by live-streaming of all the Games' competition on NBCOlympics.com, which was re-launched on Oct. 29, 100 days before the start of the action from Sochi on Feb. 6. Most of the streaming content will be made available to authenticated NBCU video subscribers.
Given the addition of NBCSN into the mix -- the network’s predecessor Versus was owned by Comcast and not yet part of the NBCU family during the Vancouver Games -- CNBC, MSNBC and USA collectively will offer far less programming from Sochi than they did during the 2010 Olympics.
CNBC will present 36 hours of curling on weekdays, including the men’s and women’s finals over a 12-day stretch from Monday, Feb. 10 through Friday, Feb. 21. The business channel will run Olympic fare daily from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (ET), except for Sunday, Feb. 16 when coverage will air from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. During the Vancouver Games, CNBC presented 100.5 hours over 14 days, In addition to curling, CNBC televised a number of sports, including hockey and biathlon in 2010.
MSNBC, which counts almost 100 million homes, will carry 45 hours of live Olympic hockey and curling programming over 12 days, beginning on Saturday, Feb. 8 with live women’s hockey featuring Canada-Switzerland at 8 a.m. and concludes on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The cable news network will telecast live hockey on 11 of its 12 days, including medal-round games, while also showcasing curling, highlighted by men’s and women’s semifinals on Feb. 19. In 2010, MSNBC lined up more than 100 hours of coverage, including quarterfinal, semifinal and medal-round hockey, medal-round curling, live speed skating and figure skating highlights.
Cable’s top-ranked USA Network, which has more than 100 million subscribers, will offer live hockey and live curling during the 2014 Games, including medal rounds from both sports and three men’s hockey games, spotlighting Team Canada. The “characters welcome” service jumps into its 43 hours from Sochi on Feb. 10, with live women’s curling featuring the U.S.-Switzerland matchup. Men’s hockey coverage includes the Feb. 16 contest between Canada-Finland, the gold and bronze medal-winning teams in Vancouver. Coverage will air on USA Network in the mornings and afternoons with exact times varying from day to day.
During the 2010 Games, USA men’s and women’s curling and ice hockey teams were staples of USA Network’s 41 hours of Olympic coverage. USA, which was the cable home of the U.S. Olympic team in Vancouver, is expected to pass that mantle to NBCSN in Sochi.