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NBC to begin primetime coverage of 2014 Winter Olympics one day prior to Opening Ceremony

by jmaloni
Wed, Feb 6th 2013 05:20 pm

Competition from Sochi, Russia, begins Thursday, Feb. 6; opening ceremony takes place Friday, Feb. 7

Competition at next year's Olympic Winter Games will begin one day prior to the Opening Ceremony. As a result, NBC will begin its primetime coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, one night before the broadcast network provides its traditional primetime coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 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. Additional Sochi Olympic programming details will be released later this year.

To celebrate one year out from the first day of competition, NBCUniversal will distribute promotional messages Wednesday 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. 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.

Programming

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, Feb. 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, Feb. 6.

"Our recent Olympic coverage has clearly demonstrated that the viewer's appetite for Olympic content continues to grow," said Mark Lazarus, chairman of 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."

One-Year-Out Marketing

NBCU will again celebrate one year out from the Games with a robust promotional plan, including a primetime roadblock. At 8 p.m. Wednesday, 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. 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 of 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-plus years. When finished, it will reach every American several times over. And it officially begins (today), one year out from the first day of competition."

The 19 NBCU networks airing the promo 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 Network, 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.

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