2014 Winter Olympics
Despite a significant time difference, Sochi could end up being one of the most-watched Winter Olympics in recent history. Beginning February 6, the networks of NBCUniversal – and its online offerings – will feature 1,500+ hours of programming from Sochi, more than the total for Vancouver and Torino combined.
While not every event will air live on television, every event will be available live online for the first time for a Winter Games (the exception to the live streaming is the opening ceremony). Events will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and via the NBC Sports Live Extra mobile app (iPhone/iPad/Android). The vast majority of live streaming will only be available to cable/video customers. So any password-verified pay-TV subscriber will be able to tap into everything on the NBCOlympics.com site and NBC Sports Live Extra app on a mobile phone, tablet or laptop. That includes live action, highlights and mini-documentaries about favorite participants.
Must-watch events for the Sochi Games:
- Friday, Feb. 7: Opening Ceremony (NBC will broadcast its opening ceremony coverage, hosted by Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, at 6:30 p.m. CT, but won’t show it live or provide a livestream online.)
- Sunday, Feb. 9: Men’s Downhill (The competition will air tape-delayed between 6-10 p.m. CST on NBC, but you can watch live online at 1 a.m. CST).
- Saturday, Feb. 15: Men’s Hockey: (U.S. vs. Russia, 6:30 a.m. CST, NBCSN).
- Tuesday, Feb 17: Ice dancing free skate, 9 a.m. CST, NBCSN. (U.S. skaters and world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White battle Vancouver gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.)
- Thursday. Feb. 20: Women’s Hockey Gold Medal Game (11-2 PM CST, NBC). This game will air live in all US Time Zones.
- Sunday, Feb. 23: Men’s Hockey Gold Medal Game (5:30-9 am CST, NBC). This game will air live across all US Time Zones.
- Sunday, Feb. 23: Closing Ceremony (Time TBD)
What you need to know before you fire up your remote or mobile device:
- Television coverage of the Sochi Games will begin Thursday, Feb. 6, with the first of an unprecedented 18 consecutive NBC primetime shows, continuing with Friday night’s Opening Ceremony and concluding Sunday, Feb. 23, with the Closing Ceremony. The Feb. 6 start marks the first time NBC will deliver primetime Olympic programming before the Opening Ceremony – which will be broadcast on NBC at 6:30 p.m. CST on Feb. 7, about nine hours after the event happens.
- The breakdown of programming hours between platforms is as follows: NBC (185 hours), NBCSN (230), MSNBC (45), USA Network (43), CNBC (36) and NBCOlympics.com (1,000 hours online). During the 18 days of the coverage (Feb. 6-23), NBCUniversal will average 85 hours of coverage daily. Click here for the cable channel finder.
- NBCSN will show 230 total hours of coverage across multiple sports from Sochi, a record for a cable channel. This is the channel with the most comprehensive coverage during the day including complete, live coverage of figure skating. It will also air 16 men’s hockey games through the bronze-medal round, including the men’s hockey game between the U.S. and Russia on Feb. 15. NBCSN will also have the U.S. and Canada women’s hockey game on Feb. 12 and live gold-medal coverage of events in bobsled (Lolo Jones, alert), Nordic combined, cross-country skiing, speedskating and ski jumping. NBCSN will air at least one gold medal final live each day through its 16 days of coverage. Live coverage on NBCSN will begin at 2 a.m. CT and continue for 12 hours on most days.
- While not every event will air live on television, every event will be available live online for the first time for a Winter Games. Events will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and via the NBC Sports Live Extra mobile app (iPhone/iPad/Android). The vast majority of live streaming will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite or telco customers. Customers who download the app will have to use a username and password provided by their cable or satellite companies. One important note: The exception to the live streaming is the opening ceremony.
- Additionally, the Gold Zone is a streaming channel on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app. [To get Gold Zone, you must be an authenticated cable, satellite, and telco subscribers and register via NBCOlympics.com]. The channel will provide more than 100 hours of hosted whip-around coverage of the most popular live action from the Sochi Games. It will stream 6 a.m.-2 p.m. CST on most days. “We are stealing a little bit of what the Red Zone is for the NFL, a whip-around show bringing you from event to event, live look-ins and analysis,” said Rick Cordella, the general manager of digital media for the NBC Sports Group. “It’s serving the fan that doesn’t necessarily know where to go. It’s saying, ‘This is important now, take a look what’s happening.'” There’s also Olympic Ice, a 30-minute online program featuring highlights and analysis of figure skating will run on days figure skating occurs, each day around 4:30 p.m. CT. Gold medalist Sarah Hughes will serve as an analyst on it, with host Russ Thaler.
- If you want to watch an event on streaming video but cannot watch it live, NBC will restart all of the online feeds for early morning events (U.S. time) each day at 2:00 p.m. CT. That would give people a second opportunity to watch those feeds that are no longer live. After those events run in prime time, the event will be sliced up into highlight form and be available on demand.
- Figure skating is always one of the most popular events during a Winter Olympics. All the figure skating will air live on cable during the day, with the key performances airing on tape delay on NBC as they have done in previous Olympics. NBCSN is the designated figure skating channel and coverage will begin the morning of Feb. 8 with the team event.
Information obtained from a variety of sources including: