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 set its basic Olympic programming lineups for MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo, which together will combine to televise 284.5 hours from the quadrennial. The cable channel news follows the May 14 announcement that Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo will present 173 hours of action from London.
MSNBC, which has been part of every Games play since Sydney in 2000, 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," said NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel in an interview.
The lineups for NBC and NBC Sports Network, which will carry as much as 300 hours from London, an Olympic cable record, are expected to be announced by month's end, if not sooner, according to NBCU officials.
Over 19 days, MSNBC will air up to 18 medal rounds and 20 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).
The channel will also carry soccer qualifying on Thursday, July 26, but there will be no coverage on July 27 as there are no 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. MSNBC has aired Olympic coverage from every Summer Games since the 2000 quadrennial in Sydney.
"There are a lot of diverse events. MSNBC continues to offer a broad array of sports, providing plenty of live competition from London," said Zenkel.
For the fourth consecutive Summer Games, CNBC will be on the boxing beat, jabbing coverage over 16 days from July 28-August 12, starting with elimination bouts to the men's and women's finals. Same-day coverage will air from 5 p.m-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. We will continue to showcase Olympic boxing on CNBC," said Zenkel.
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," said Zenkel. "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, www.NBColympics.com/Telemundo and its cable network mun2, which will offer a daily half-hour special featuring behind-the-scenes from the Games. Also, for the first time in the network's 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.