NBC and NBC Cable Networks executives unveiled the extensive local ad-sales
kits that were shipped to cable affiliates earlier this month during a press
briefing at the RCA Building in New York Wednesday.
The kits went out May 9, when operators could officially begin their sales
efforts behind the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.
NBC Cable Distribution president David Zaslav said the fact that this will be
the first U.S. Winter Olympics since ABC Sports covered Lake Placid, N.Y., more
than 20 years ago 'ratchets up the excitement' among viewers and sponsors.
The Salt Lake event, which will run from Feb. 8 through 24, will also be the
first domestic Olympics since the ratings-rich Atlanta Summer Olympics in 1996,
Some MSOs were late in signing carriage contracts with NBC -- covering
CNBC/MSNBC carriage, as well as Olympics carriage through 2008 -- and that hurt
their local sales efforts, Zaslav said. But he added, 'Many did very well' in
generating local ad revenues from last year's Olympics.
NBC Cable vice president of local ad sales Brian Hunt outlined the materials
in the affiliate kits, including CD-ROMs containing customizable PowerPoint
sales presentations and taggable promotion spots, DVD-based training tapes and
print sales guides.
The kits were shipped to 750 affiliate ad-sales offices nationwide, Hunt
said. He added that AT&T Broadband and Cox Communications Inc. were among
MSOs praising the support materials.
In a video clip, MSNBC's returning Olympics host, Jim Lampley, reported that
the NBC cable networks will carry more than 200 hours of Salt Lake coverage and
'a little more than 80 percent' will be live.
But the executives declined to get into how much of the broadcast and cable
coverage will be in primetime, indicating that it would be officially announced
at a December press conference.
Hunt did say CNBC will cover hockey after the financial markets close each
weekday evening, just as it did with boxing from last year's Summer Olympics in