NBC says 2014 Olympic broadcast to start early

The skating arena for the Winter Olympics in Russia. Events will begin a day before the official opening.
The skating arena for the Winter Olympics in Russia. Events will begin a day before the official opening. (AP)
Posted: February 07, 2013

NEW YORK - With 12 events debuting at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, NBC said Tuesday that it would begin prime-time network coverage a day before the opening ceremonies, on Feb. 6, 2014, for the first time in its Olympics history.

Russian and Olympics officials scheduled the extra day of events so that the Games could end, as they traditionally do, on a Sunday, NBC officials said. The events in the first night of prime-time coverage include team figure skating and slope-style snowboarding.

NBC officials briefed journalists on the Olympics plans on Tuesday with one year to go before the event, saying that construction on the venues is progressing rapidly and that they have not been informed of the content of the opening ceremonies.

The network said it would stick to the same formula as London, for which it streamed each event live and then packaged the best events for NBC prime-time coverage. There is a nine-hour time difference between Sochi and the East Coast TV markets.

Mark Lazarus, chairman of the NBC Sports Group, said he expects the Sochi Olympics - the first one negotiated by Comcast Corp., of Philadelphia, which owns a controlling 51 percent of NBCUniversal - to be profitable. "This will be a very good moment for the company," Lazarus said during the media briefing at 30 Rockefeller Center. NBC, then managed by General Electric, lost about $200 million on its last Winter Olympics, partly because of the weak economy in 2010.


Contact Bob Fernandez at 215-854-5897 or bob.fernandez@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter at @bobfernandez1.

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