NBC Olympics’ Sochi Winter Games Coverage to Begin Night Before Opening Ceremonies
With just one year to go until the beginning of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, NBC announced that, for the first time, the network will begin event coverage the night before the Opening Ceremonies.
NBC will begin its primetime coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Thursday, February 6, 2014, one night before the broadcast network provides its traditional primetime coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, February 7, 2014. This marks the first time any U.S. media company has dedicated primetime coverage to Olympic competition – Winter or Summer — prior to the Opening Ceremony.
To celebrate one year out from the first day of competition – tomorrow, February 6 — NBCUniversal will distribute promotional messages across its vast array of assets, which include two broadcast networks, NBC (English) and Telemundo (Spanish); 17 cable channels, including Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network; 10 NBCU-owned stations and 235 NBC affiliates, including their digital assets; the NBC Sports Radio network; the NBC Sports Regional Networks; and more than 40 NBCU websites, including NBCSports.com and NBCOlympics.com.
In addition, numerous NBCU programs across television, radio and the web will preview the Sochi Olympics with editorial content. NBC’s TODAY, NBC Sports Network’s NHL Live and The Crossover, and numerous NBC Sports Radio shows will be among the NBCU outlets carrying one-year-out coverage. Most NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBCU-owned stations and NBC affiliates will be covering the one-year-out occasion as it pertains to their markets.
With 12 new events debuting at next year’s Sochi Olympics, including eight in freestyle skiing and snowboarding, the International Olympic Committee constructed a competition schedule that begins on Thursday, February 6, 2014, one day prior to the Opening Ceremony.
Team figure skating and men’s and women’s slopestyle snowboarding, which are new Olympic events, along with women’s freestyle moguls, begin the day before the Opening Ceremony, and will be featured during NBC’s primetime coverage on Thursday, February 6, 2014. The Opening Ceremony takes place the next night — Friday, February 7, 2014.
“Our recent Olympic coverage has clearly demonstrated that the viewer’s appetite for Olympic content continues to grow,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “Due to the new events, it’s our pleasure to provide an 18th night of primetime coverage, a first in Olympic history that will benefit viewers, advertisers, affiliates, and all of our Olympic constituents.”
NBCU will again celebrate one year out from the Games with a robust promotional plan, including a primetime roadblock. At 8 p.m. ET/PT tomorrow, nearly all of NBCU’s 19 broadcast and cable networks will air a 60-second promo for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. It will also air at 8 p.m. ET/PT across 33 non-NBCU cable channels via Comcast Spotlight, the ad sales division of Comcast Cable that reaches nearly 80 markets and more than 33 million homes. More than 40 NBCU websites will feature banner and still ads, and all will link to the Olympic promo. The 60-second spot recalls the magical feelings of the London Olympics and looks forward to the anticipated excitement of Sochi.
“Our primetime roadblock is emblematic of our ability to utilize the scale of NBCU to market the Olympic Games to great effect,” said John Miller, CMO, NBC Sports Group. “Our one-year-out campaign begins what will be the largest marketing effort ever by NBCU for an Olympic Winter Games. The eight-tier marketing plan we employ has been honed over the past 20+ years. When finished, it will reach every American several times over. And it officially begins tomorrow, one year out from the first day of competition.”
The 19 NBCU networks airing the promo tomorrow either at 8 p.m. ET/PT, as part of the roadblock, or at another time within the 8-9 p.m. ET/PT hour are: NBC, Telemundo, Bravo, Chiller, Cloo, CNBC, E!, G4, Golf Channel, MSNBC, mun2, NBC Sports Nework, Oxygen, Sprout, Style, Syfy, The Weather Channel, Universal HD, and USA.
In addition to the roadblock, one-year-out marketing efforts will include: coordination with all NBCU social media assets; banner ads for NBCU websites; distribution of the promotional spot and digital banner ads to 10 NBCU-owned stations, 235 NBC affiliates and the NBC Sports Regional Networks; and a significant presence at the NBC Experience Store in Rockefeller Center.
Today Show and Additional Editorial Coverage
Tomorrow, the TODAY Plaza will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with Mount Rockefeller, a 14 by 56 foot ski slope. Olympians and Olympic hopefuls will join Matt Lauer,Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales on the Plaza to preview the upcoming Winter Games. Correspondent Ben Fogle will report live from Sochi to catch up with hopefuls from the US Ski Team and US Bobsled Team. Fogle will also take a look at the Olympic preparations underway and Russia’s plans for a year out celebration.
TODAY will introduce freestyle skiing’s slopestyle event, which is new to the Olympic program. Slopestyle skiers will show off the first-time Olympic sport on Mount Rockefeller while teaching some of the basics to the TODAY show anchors. Scott Hamilton will join the TODAY team to take a look at what’s ahead in figure skating, and Olympian Chuck Berkeley will discuss what’s new in bobsledding. The 2010 Men’s Figure Skating Olympic champion, Evan Lysacek, will perform live on The Rink at Rockefeller Center.
Fans and viewers are encouraged to visit Rockefeller Plaza tomorrow at 7 a.m. to participate in TODAY’s “Countdown to Sochi” celebration with interactive winter activities and Olympic-style photo booths. Plus, Roker’s forecast calls for a 100-percent chance of snow on the Plaza.
In addition to TODAY, numerous NBC Sports Group platforms and shows will dedicate editorial content to previewing the Winter Games, including NBC Sports Network’s NHL Live and The Crossover, numerous NBC Sports Radio shows, and NBC Sports Regional Networks. Most NBCU-owned stations and NBC affiliates will cover the occasion as it pertains to their respective markets.