NBC Olympic broadcasts
The broadcasts of Summer and Winter Olympic Games produced by NBC Sports is shown on the various networks of NBCUniversal in the United States, including the NBC broadcast network, Spanish language network Telemundo, and many of the company's cable networks. The event telecasts during the Olympics air primarily in the evening and on weekend afternoons on NBC, with varying times on its cable networks (such as after the close of the stock market day on CNBC, the early mornings on MSNBC, overnights on the USA Network, and various hours on NBCSN).
|Olympic Games on NBC|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||14|
|Production location(s)||Various Olympic venues (event telecasts and studio segments)|
|Production company(s)||NBC Olympics, LLC|
(NBC Sports Group)
|Original network||NBC Sports |
NBC Sports Regional Networks
|Picture format||480i (SDTV),|
2160p (4K UHDTV)
|Original release||October 10, 1964 – October 24, 1964 |
February 3, 1972 – February 13, 1972
September 17, 1988 –
The on-air title of the telecasts, as typically announced at the start of each broadcast and during sponsor billboards is always the official name of the games in question – for example, The Games of the XXIX Olympiad for the 2008 Summer Games. However, promotional logos may reflect the more common location-and-year name format, such as "Beijing 2008".
NBC has held the American broadcasting rights to the Summer Olympic Games since the 1988 games and the rights to the Winter Olympic Games since the 2002 games. In 2011, NBC agreed to a $4.38 billion contract with the International Olympic Committee to broadcast the Olympics through the 2020 games, the most expensive television rights deal in Olympic history. NBC then agreed to a $7.75 billion contract extension on May 7, 2014, to air the Olympics through the 2032 games. NBC also acquired the American television rights to the Youth Olympic Games, beginning in 2014, and the Paralympic Games for the 2014 and 2016 editions. NBC is one of the major sources of revenue for the IOC.
NBC's coverage of the Olympics has been criticized for the tape delaying of events, spoiling the results of events prior to their own tape-delayed broadcast of those events, editing of its broadcasts to resemble an emotionally-appealing program meant to entertain rather than a straight live sports event, their ability to dictate start times of some events regardless of the host city's local time or other countries' broadcasters, as well as avoiding controversial subjects such as material critical of Russia at the 2014 Olympics.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early coverage
- 1.2 1980 Summer Olympic boycott
- 1.3 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul
- 1.4 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics
- 1.5 Cable and satellite services become involved
- 1.6 2000s
- 1.7 Local coverage
- 2 Hours of coverage
- 3 Commentators
- 4 Music
- 5 Criticism
- 5.1 Accusations of bias
- 5.2 Tape delay and formatting of coverage
- 5.3 Opening and closing ceremonies
- 5.4 2012 Paralympics
- 5.5 Other criticism
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 External links
1964 Summer OlympicsEdit
NBC televised its first Olympic Games in 1964, when it broadcast that year's Summer Olympics from Tokyo. The network did this with the aid of the Syncom 3 satellite for direct broadcasts. NBC's telecast of the opening ceremonies that year marked the first color broadcast televised live via satellite back to the United States.
The Olympic competition itself was broadcast in black-and-white. Through its use of the Syncom 3 satellite, a daily highlights package could be seen a few hours after the events took place; otherwise, videotape canisters were flown across the Pacific Ocean and were broadcast to American viewers the following day.
Serving as anchor was Bill Henry, then NBC News Tokyo bureau chief, who had extensive experience in both print and broadcast news. Play-by-play commentators included Bud Palmer and Jim Simpson, while former Olympians Rafer Johnson and Murray Rose served as analysts.
1972 Winter OlympicsEdit
NBC first televised the Winter Olympic Games in 1972. Anchored by Curt Gowdy, much of the coverage actually was broadcast live since alpine skiing and long track speed skating were held in the morning, which corresponded to prime time on the East Coast of the U.S.
A young sportscaster making his network television debut at Sapporo was a 26-year-old Al Michaels, who did hockey play-by-play during the games. Eight years later, he would call the famous 1980 "Miracle On Ice" at that year's Winter Games in Lake Placid for ABC Sports.
1980 Summer Olympic boycottEdit
NBC had won the U.S. broadcast rights for the 1980 Summer Olympics, but when the United States Olympic Committee kept U.S. athletes home to honor the boycott announced by President Jimmy Carter, the telecasts were greatly scaled back. In the end, what had been 150 hours of scheduled coverage, had substantially decreased to just a few hours. Highlights were fed to local NBC stations for use on their local newscasts. Many affiliates, however, refused to show the Olympic highlights on their local news or clear airtime for the few hours of coverage NBC did present.
NBC's extensive coverage was canceled before a prime time anchor had been named; it was said that NBC Nightly News anchor John Chancellor (who formerly served as a Moscow bureau chief for NBC News), along with sportscasters Bryant Gumbel and Dick Enberg, were reportedly being considered for the prime time studio host role. Bryant Gumbel ultimately served as Seoul primetime host while Dick Enberg co-hosted the Ceremonies through the 1996 closing.
1988 Summer Olympics in SeoulEdit
NBC then bid for, and won, the rights to show the 1988 Summer Olympics. Network officials convinced the organizers in Seoul to stage most of its gold-medal finals in the afternoon, which corresponded to prime time of the previous night in the United States (due to both South Korea being located near the western border of the International Date Line, in addition to the differences in time zones).
Today co-anchor Bryant Gumbel was the prime time host that year; Bob Costas hosted the late-night show while Jane Pauley was one of the hosts of early-morning coverage. Gumbel and Dick Enberg were co-hosts for the opening and closing ceremonies.
A curious result was that, since in the United States, the 1988 NFL season had just started, NBC would plug the holes (primarily play-by-play broadcasters) with well-known older broadcasters such as Curt Gowdy, Ray Scott and Merle Harmon, among others.
1992 and 1996 Summer OlympicsEdit
Just as his mentor Roone Arledge had before over at ABC, Dick Ebersol, who took over NBC Sports in 1989, decided to make the Olympics a staple of his network's sports television schedule. NBC continued its Summer Games coverage into the next decade, with both the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and the 1996 Summer Games. For the 1992 games, Ebersol surprised even his own staff as well as everybody else by paying a then record $401 million for the 1992 games. The network then paid $456 million to broadcast the 1996 Olympics. Previously hosting late night coverage in Seoul, Bob Costas made his debut, as primetime host, in Barcelona. It is a role that he held through the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
1992 Olympics TriplecastEdit
In order to defray costs of airing the games, the network teamed up with Cablevision for the Triplecast. The service consisted of red, white, and blue channels that allowed the viewer to watch anything they wanted even before it aired in the network's primetime telecast. However, the service was a dismal failure losing $100 million and had only 200,000 subscribers. In addition, the main network's coverage was cannibalized to the extent it seemed that the main coverage was overproduced and that viewers knew some results about 10 hours before they were aired over the air on NBC. For Atlanta, NBC had no supplemental cable coverage.
1996 Olympic Park BombingEdit
And as with Arledge in Munich, Ebersol had to deal with breaking news during the Atlanta Games. During the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996, NBC suspended its coverage of a volleyball game and broadcast the news for several hours commercial-free. Like ABC's 1972 Munich coverage, the main primetime host did not cover the bombing. That role went to both Hannah Storm and Jim Lampley for the first half-hour before turning coverage over to NBC Nightly News host Tom Brokaw. Toward the end of the second hour of coverage, NBC had an exclusive as Atlanta TV affiliate WXIA was in the process of interviewing Janet Evans during the bombing.
Cable and satellite services become involvedEdit
To help offset the increasing costs of broadcast rights, NBC turned to cable and satellite services to help provide additional coverage. In 1992, NBC teamed up with Cablevision to launch the Triplecast, which provided three pay-per-view channels that each offered separate event telecasts that supplemented NBC's regular coverage. However, the package was deemed a major failure and NBC lost over $100 million on the venture; there was no supplemental coverage from Atlanta for the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Olympic coverage in the 2000s revolved around two major storylines:
- NBC became the sole U.S. rights holder for the Olympic Games for the entire decade. The network could rightly boast of being "America's Olympic Network" as it made the longest and most expensive commitment ever since the Olympics were first presented on television. For the 1996 Summer Games, and all Games from 2000 to 2008, NBC paid a total of $3.5 billion, mostly to the International Olympic Committee but also to the United States Olympic Committee and local organizers. In 2006, NBC paid another $2.2 billion to purchase the rights to the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2012 Summer Olympics but lost $223 million on the 2010 broadcasts.
- The rise of various media platforms extended the reach and availability of Olympic Games coverage. NBC returned to supplemental cable/satellite coverage in 2000, with some events airing on CNBC and MSNBC; traditionally CNBC has mainly aired coverage of boxing events. In 2004, it added USA Network, Bravo and Telemundo, all of which parent company NBC Universal had acquired earlier in the decade. In 2006, Universal HD was added to the list of channels carrying the Games. Finally, in 2008, events were streamed live for the first time on the Internet through the NBCOlympics.com website (also in 2008, Oxygen replaced Bravo as a supplemental network, and NBC launched high-definition channels dedicated to the basketball and soccer competitions). The 2010 Games added then-digital multicast network Universal Sports, which carried analysis programs about events, while Oxygen and Bravo were completely excluded to maintain their schedules.
During the 2006 Winter Olympics, USA Network aired a daily studio program focusing on the figure skating competitions, Olympic Ice, which was hosted by Mary Carillo and featured appearances by analysts and skaters such as Dick Button (who hosted the viewer e-mail segment "Push Dick's Button"), Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.
Comcast acquisition of NBC (2011–present)Edit
In 2011, Comcast acquired majority control of NBC's parent company NBC Universal from General Electric (whose remaining interest Comcast later acquired in 2012); on June 6, 2011, NBCUniversal announced that it had acquired the television rights for the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 Olympics, beating out ESPN/ABC and Fox. The entire package was worth $4.38 billion, making it the most expensive television rights deal in Olympic history. NBC paid $775 million for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and $1.23 billion for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. NBC also paid $963 million for the rights to the 2018 Winter Olympics (in Pyeongchang, South Korea) and $1.45 billion for the 2020 Summer Olympics (to be held in Tokyo, Japan).
In response to criticism it received during previous Olympics, NBC also announced that beginning in 2012, it planned to broadcast all events live through either television or digital platforms. Additionally, the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN; formerly Versus, which became a part of NBC Sports following the acquisition) also added coverage of the Olympics beginning with the 2012 London Games, with an emphasis on team sports. NBCSN became the highlighted cable network for coverage, replacing both USA Network, which would maintain their regular entertainment schedule during the games. The 2012 Summer Games also saw Universal HD removed from the company's cable/satellite coverage. Bravo aired supplemental coverage (mainly the tennis tournament) in place of Oxygen, with Universal Sports again solely providing analysis and pay television providers again carrying dedicated HD basketball and soccer networks.
The 2014 Winter Olympics again saw NBCSN as the highlighted cable network, though NBCUniversal's cable networks had additional complications due to NBC's weekend coverage of the Premier League, which usually airs on NBCSN but was instead moved to USA Network due to the Olympics, and some coverage of the games usually seen on CNBC replaced with the first night of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show because of the yearly conflict with USA's WWE Monday Night Raw. A new online-network called "Gold Zone," which features rolling coverage of events in the style of NFL Network's RedZone Channel and ESPN Goal Line (and has been by coincidence hosted by Andrew Siciliano, who also hosts the NFL Sunday Ticket-exclusive version of RedZone for DirecTV), was also launched to provide coverage of the Games, which was retained for 2016's coverage.
In 2016, NBC began to offer 4K content on a delayed basis through participating service providers (particularly DirecTV, Dish Network, and Xfinity), downconverted from 8K footage filmed by NHK and OBS, with HDR and Dolby Atmos support. 86 hours of event footage was offered.
With the re-introduction of golf to the Olympics, Golf Channel was added to NBC's coverage, with NBC's golf production unit also serving as the host broadcaster of the two tournaments. The primetime block of NBC's coverage in 2016 also featured Descriptive Video Service through the SAP channel for the first time since the Federal Communications Commission was allowed to require broadcasters to expand their production and access to described programming for the blind and visually impaired (though live sporting events were not required under the guidelines, so NBC's effort is entirely voluntary).
On March 28, 2017, NBC announced that it would adopt a new format for its primetime coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics, with a focus on live coverage in all time zones to take advantage of Pyeongchang's 14-hour difference with U.S. Eastern Time, and to address criticism of its previous tape delay practices. As before, the primetime block began at 8:00 p.m ET/5:00 p.m PT, and unlike previous Olympics, was available for streaming. Event sessions in figure skating were deliberately scheduled with morning sessions so that they could air during primetime in the Americas (and in turn, NBC's coverage; due to the substantial fees NBC has paid for rights to the Olympics, the IOC has allowed NBC to have influence on event scheduling to maximize U.S. television ratings when possible; NBC agreed to a $7.75 billion contract extension on May 7, 2014, to air the Olympics through the 2032 games, is also one of the major sources of revenue for the IOC). Coverage took a break in the east for late local news, after which coverage continued into "Primetime Plus", which featured additional live coverage into the Eastern late night and Western primetime hours. This was then followed by an encore of the Primetime block. NBCSN also broadcast live primetime blocks, and revived Olympic Ice to serve as a pre-show for figure skating coverage (hosted by Liam McHugh and Tanith White from Pyeongchang), alongside a digital-exclusive post-show hosted by Krista Voda from NBC Sports' headquarters. Bob Costas stepped down as main host prior to the Games, being replaced by Mike Tirico.
Since the 2006 Winter Olympics, local affiliates have often aired a half-hour program preceding prime time coverage called The Olympic Zone, which features a mix of locally produced Olympian profiles and content mixed with promotional materials and stories from the NBC News Channel affiliate news service. The program is modeled on a similar program, O-Zone, that aired on NBC affiliate KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California, during the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Hours of coverageEdit
|Year||Host||Hours of Coverage||Main article|
|1964 Summer||Tokyo, Japan||15 hours overall.|
|1972 Winter||Sapporo, Japan||37|
|1980 Summer||Moscow, Soviet Union||primarily highlights (6 hours of highlights)|
|1988 Summer||Seoul, South Korea||179.5|
|1992 Summer||Barcelona, Spain||161 + 1080 on Triplecast|
|1996 Summer||Atlanta, United States||171|
|2000 Summer||Sydney, Australia||441.5|
|2002 Winter||Salt Lake City, United States||375.5|
|2004 Summer||Athens, Greece||1210|
|2006 Winter||Torino, Italy||416|
|2008 Summer||Beijing, China||3600||2008 Summer Olympics on NBC|
|2010 Winter||Vancouver, Canada||835|
|2012 Summer||London, United Kingdom||5535|
|2014 Winter||Sochi, Russia||1539|
|2016 Summer||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||6755|
|2018 Winter||Pyeongchang, South Korea||2400|
|2020 Summer||Tokyo, Japan||TBD|
|2022 Winter||Beijing, China||TBD|
|2024 Summer||Paris, France||TBD|
|2026 Winter||Milan-Cortina, Italy||TBD|
|2028 Summer||Los Angeles, United States||TBD|
Traditionally, NBC has primarily televised marquee sports in its Olympic coverage. When the network added coverage on its cable partners in 2000, it allowed them to televise other sports. 2004 marked the first year that they televised all 28 sports in the Summer Games. In 2008, aided with online streaming, NBC aired many of the events held at the summer games live.
Since 1992, the main theme of NBC's Olympics coverage has been "Bugler's Dream", a composition by Leo Arnaud that was historically used by ABC as the main theme of its Olympics coverage since 1968. Since the 1996 Summer Olympics, the composition has been traditionally followed by John Williams' "Olympic Fanfare and Theme", which was originally composed for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Williams has also composed other secondary themes for the Olympics and NBC's telecasts, including "The Olympic Spirit" (which was used as the main theme in 1988, NBC's first year as rightsholder, before "Bugler's Dream" was reinstated the following Olympiad), "Summon the Heroes" (a piece written for the opening ceremony in 1996), and "Call of the Champions" (which was written for the 2002 Winter Olympics).
Since 1996, NBC has also used the Randy Edelman-composed theme song from the short-lived Fox series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. during its coverage. NBC had commissioned Edelman to compose theme music for its National Football League coverage (stemming from its prior use of a portion of his score for the film Gettysburg for its coverage of the Breeder's Cup), and the theme was included in a portfolio of work Edelman had sent the network. Edelman felt that the track "seemed to have the right spirit. It's got a very flowing melody, it's triumphant, and it has a certain warmth. And it has at the end of it, what all television things like this have, a 'button,' an ending flourish that works really well if they need to chop it down into a 15-second thing." Senior creative producer Mark Levy felt that the works that Edelman had scored, as with John Williams, shared the "proportion and emotion" of the Olympics.
Yanni's "In Celebration of Man", a piece that CBS had declined an offer to use at the 1992 Winter Olympics, was used during a preview special for the 1992 Summer Olympics; NBC's Olympics producer at the time was friends with the musician. Although NBC did not use it during the Games, the song was later picked up by its golf telecasts, and used for its coverage of USGA tournaments (such as the U.S. Open) until 2015, and The Open Championship since 2016. During the 2008 Summer Olympics, NBC briefly revived "Roundball Rock", the John Tesh-composed theme music of the former NBA on NBC, as theme music during coverage of the basketball tournaments.
NBC has utilized other popular music during its Olympics coverage as well. Phillip Phillips' "Home" was used for a segment introducing women's gymnastics at the 2012 Summer Olympics; the segment rejuvenated interest in the song, causing it to re-enter the Billboard Hot 100, and eventually peak at #9 (marking the first time a song had ever made two separate top 10 runs on the Hot 100 in a single calendar year). Prior to the 2016 Summer Olympics, NBC released a promotional video with Olympics highlights set to Katy Perry's recently-released single "Rise". "This Is Me" from the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman was also used during NBC's coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Accusations of biasEdit
While every respective country's broadcast is biased towards the home athletes to a certain extent, NBC has faced scrutiny for focusing more on American athletes and less on other athletes from other countries win medals, especially during the network's tape delayed primetime coverage. This has proven to be unfounded and indeed NBC has been considered more inclusive of other countries' athletes than other countries' Olympic broadcasters. NBC's focus on U.S. athletes has been the subject of a series of studies which have shown NBC places a heavier emphasis on U.S. athletes during the Summer Games than during the Winter Games. When the NBC 2014 primetime Olympic broadcast was compared to those broadcast in Canada by the CBC, it was determined that CBC placed more emphasis, by a statistically significant margin, on Canadian athletes than NBC placed on U.S. athletes. Furthermore, such countries as Russia (broadcasters Channel One and Match TV), focus solely on its own athletes, ignoring events where they do not participate. By contrast, NBC often devotes considerable coverage to favorite foreigners such as Usain Bolt.
Tape delay and formatting of coverageEdit
NBC's tape delayed primetime coverage has faced major criticism for many years. Unlike live coverage where viewers can see the events uninterrupted in real time, NBC's tape delaying practices allow for cutting away to commercials and inserting segments profiling American athletes participating in the respective event being shown, which adds even further delay. In 1992, Terry O'Neil, then-executive producer of NBC Sports, coined the phrase "plausibly live" to describe their practice of making the taped broadcasts appear as if they were being aired live.
During the 2000 Summer Olympics, every event shown on NBC and its cable channels was shown on a tape delay due to the time difference between the United States and Sydney, Australia, with the exception of the Men's Gold Medal basketball game. The massive tape delay led to heavy criticism, as some events aired some 16 hours after they were completed, which gave would-be viewers more than enough time to learn the results themselves from competing outlets (including, ironically, NBC's morning show Today). Indeed, early numbers showed Sydney to be one of the lowest-rated Olympics in the United States since Mexico City in 1968, and 21% lower than 1988—the next most recent games to have been held in late-September rather than July and August. Due to the scheduling, the Games also had to compete with a busy period for domestic sports, including the start of the NFL and college football seasons (a Monday Night Football game was only barely beaten by Olympics coverage one night), and the final weeks of the Major League Baseball regular season.
Because of these tape delay and editing practices, and NBC Sports executives' responses to these criticisms, they have been accused of treating the Olympics more like reality television, as opposed to a conventional telecast of sports. For example, during the 2012 Summer Olympics, NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus stated that the reason why they cut from their primetime coverage Russia's Ksenia Afanasyeva's fall during the women's gymnastics artistic team all-around was "in the interest of time". However, The New York Times noted that Afanasyeva's entire routine was only 1 minute and 38 seconds long, and critics claimed that the real reason for the edit was to create drama and uncertainty over whether the U.S. team would defeat the Russian team in the final round. And during the 2014 Winter Olympics, NBC continued to promote for its primetime coverage Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko at the men's singles event even though he had to withdraw hours earlier due to injury.
During a press event held before the 2016 Summer Olympics, chief marketing officer John Miller addressed the formatting of its primetime coverage, stating that the Olympics were "not about the result, [but] about the journey. The people who watch the Olympics are not particularly sports fans. More women watch the Games than men, and for the women, they're less interested in the result and more interested in the journey. It's sort of like the ultimate reality show and mini-series wrapped into one." Miller's remarks were ridiculed by the media: Linda Stasi of the New York Daily News considered Miller's statement to be "sexist nonsense" and representative of a "pandering, condescending view of the millions of women viewers". Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post admitted that NBC had often been successful with its "packaging" of the Olympics, and that it was "not inherently sexist for them to say that women have some different viewing habits and interests than men". At the same time, she argued that it was "insulting" for NBC to cater its tape-delayed broadcasts towards a "Ladies' Home Journal crowd", as it alienates conventional sports fans, and harmed the ability to grow a year-round audience for both women's sports and Olympic sports.
In an interview with Slate, former NBC personality Dwight Stones stated that he had left the network due to a history of conflicts with producers over the direction of its track and field coverage. In particular, Stones stated that NBC's producers had downplayed field events because track events were easier to "package" due to being more consistent in their structure. He went on to argue that "Field is 50 percent of the name and 43 percent of the events. And for it to be ignored and belittled the way it has been at the network of the Olympics for the United States through 2032 is a disgrace and a disservice. And I don't see it changing anytime soon with the people that are running that place and the people that are producing the sport."
Reeves Wiedman of The New Yorker argued that NBC's style of coverage focuses too much on the athletes as characters, rather than on the technical aspects of sports that are not typically prominent on U.S. television outside of the Olympics. In particular, he explained that coverage of gymnastics was "hindered by an outdated image of gymnasts as teen-age pixies bouncing around the screen" and "encourages us to look at swimmers as some of the world's premier athletes, and the gymnasts as the world's most coordinated beauty-pageant contestants". Wiedman added that "the idea that viewers staying up late into the night to watch a sport they barely understand have little interest in learning more about it seems wrong-headed", and that "only a very small number of Americans can tell the difference between a Produnova and an Amânar" or know that coaches "pore over the [IFG] Code with the same zeal that Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots' head coach, scours the NFL rule book for trick formations that push up against the boundary of the sport's regulation".
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times described NBC's coverage this way:
NBC's approach would be like waiting until 8 p.m. to broadcast a [Seattle] Seahawks game against the New England Patriots that happened at 1 p.m. Then, showing only select snippets from each quarter, interspersed with soft features of [Seahawks quarterback] Russell Wilson and [his wife] Ciara, and [Patriots quarterback] Tom Brady and [his wife] Gisele walking hand-in-hand down a beach with Mozart playing in the background.
On the other hand, under NBC's influence, some marquee events have been deliberately scheduled to allow live broadcasts in U.S. primetime, regardless of the local time where the Games are actually held. This phenomenon has been apparent in Olympics held in Asia-Pacific countries, where marquee events such as swimming (in 2008 and 2020) and figure skating (in 2018 and 2022) were held in the morning rather than the evening. Athletes were required to adjust to these changes, especially if they practiced in the morning, while the scheduling of swimming in 2008 drew the ire of the BBC—as they fell in the early-morning hours in the United Kingdom. Some events at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro were scheduled as late as 11:00 p.m. or midnight Brasília Time (which is an hour ahead of Eastern time), to accommodate both NBC and Rede Globo—the main Brazilian rightsholder. Globo had deliberately chosen not to preempt its primetime telenovela lineup during the Olympics, as they are the highest-rated programs on Brazilian television.
2010 Winter OlympicsEdit
Although the 2010 Winter Olympics were being held in Vancouver—located in the Pacific Time Zone, which is three hours behind the Eastern Time Zone, as previously done with their Olympic coverage, NBC delayed the broadcast of high-profile events held during the day to air in prime time. As a result, almost none of the popular alpine events were shown live. NBC executives explained that this was done because of the higher viewership with coverage in the evening hours. Nevertheless, the 2010 Winter Olympics were assumed to be a financial disaster for NBC, as the network was expected to lose about $200 million after overpaying for the broadcasting rights.
This tape delay practice, even for major events, became increasingly frustrating with viewers, especially with the increased usage of social networking and websites (including the official Vancouver 2010 site and NBC's Olympic website) posting results in real time. This especially held true for viewers in the Pacific, Mountain, Hawaii and Alaska Time Zones, where events were delayed even further by three to six hours or more. The usage of tape delays were particularly frustrating for those in the Pacific Time Zone, as Vancouver not only lies in that time zone, but is in extremely close proximity to the United States – just north of the United States border (with Vancouver being an approximately 2½-hour drive from Seattle). As a result, NBC was just beginning its coverage of the games at 7:30 PM Pacific time in Seattle while the actual ceremony was deep into the artistic portion of the event.
As a result, these practices spurred outrage from viewers and media analysts voicing their opinions on the internet and even raising concerns from politicians. This controversy came mere days following the controversial resolution of the 2010 Tonight Show host and timeslot conflict, which further damaged NBC's already broken image.
In the past, American viewers who lived close to the Canada–US border were able to get around waiting for NBC to air an event by watching Olympic coverage on CBC Television. However, rights to the 2010 games in Canada moved over to CTV, which was not available on many cable systems in the northern U.S. due to programming redundancies during primetime between CTV and the American broadcast networks.
2012 Summer OlympicsEdit
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, NBC offered live streaming coverage on its Olympics website through a partnership with YouTube, which provided the opportunity to see all events live. NBC also used a mixture of live and tape delayed coverage for its television broadcast due to London being five hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone. Events contested earlier in the day were able to be shown live on one of the NBCUniversal-owned cable networks. However, events that traditionally draw better ratings, such as swimming, artistic gymnastics, and track and field, were still tape delayed and aired during prime time on NBC. Those events drew their traditionally high ratings, but arguments were lodged about not having the option to watch these events live on television.
Furthermore, members of the U.S. Military were forced to watch the delayed NBC feed despite being within a few hours of the time zones of the event. American Forces Network was contractually hindered by Department of Defense regulations only allowing American feeds of broadcasts to ensure a feel of the broadcast that could be had in the U.S. Additionally, AFN had an agreement with the International Olympic Committee and NBC to only use NBC feeds of the event. Many soldiers in Europe felt slighted by the delays, given comparable local country stations aired the Olympics live on public television feeds as some events aired late at night or early in the morning on AFN.
In a Gallup Poll held during the 2012 Olympics, many indicated that they did not mind the tape delaying for the nighttime window. However, the complaint lodged by the subjects in the poll was that NBC should show the events live on one of their networks, as well as show it in prime time on NBC.
2014 Winter OlympicsEdit
For its coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics, NBC streamed every competition live. However, only existing cable and satellite customers, subscribing to packages that include NBC's sister cable networks could access the service. The Canadian Press reported that frustrated viewers were purchasing VPN services to access Canadian IP addresses so they could stream CBC Sports' live coverage instead (which is normally free for those in Canada).
This time, some events that traditionally draw higher ratings were first aired live on one of NBC's sister cable networks (such as NBCSN), and then a tape-delayed version was broadcast on NBC in primetime. For coverage of the popular figure skating events, there were two sets of commentators: Terry Gannon, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir announced NBCSN's live broadcast; and Tom Hammond, Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic anchored the tape-delayed coverage on NBC. Invariably, comparisons were made between the two announcing teams; the NBCSN team of Weir and Lipinski received critical acclaim, and were ultimately named NBC's lead commentary team for figure skating later that year.
NBC was criticized over the way its tape-delayed primetime coverage handled the news of Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko's withdrawal from competition due to injury. Hours after he announced his withdrawal, NBC continued to air promotions for its primetime show still stating that he would skate in the event.
2016 Summer OlympicsEdit
Variety specifically criticized NBC for its tape delay practices in regards to the Women's artistic team all-round competition in its primetime broadcast, having effectively relegated most of the competition to air past 11:00 p.m. ET/PT, barring a short portion focusing on the vault and uneven bars events at the top of the primetime broadcast, in favor of the swimming competitions of the night. It was noted that "in the midst of a highly anticipated story that had already been ruined for many viewers via the Internet, it felt egregious to push the biggest story of the night to past 11 p.m.", and that NBC was trying to "juice the numbers" by doing so.
2018 Winter OlympicsEdit
On March 28, 2017, NBC announced that it would air live coverage in primetime for the 2018 Winter Olympics across all time zones, citing the "communal experience" and the ubiquity of social media as justification for this change.
The Asian American Journalists Association, among other Asian groups, has criticized NBC for officially having its announcers deliberately use an incorrect pronunciation of the host city Pyeongchang (by pronouncing the "-chang" like "bang" instead of correctly saying it like "chong") because, according to Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports, this incorrect pronunciation is "cleaner".
The top anchors of NBC News were also sent to cover the Olympics, which meant that they were unable to cover the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida which occurred on February 14. Therefore, while rivals ABC News, CBS News, CNN and Fox News were able to send their top anchors and reporters on-site to cover this domestic breaking news story, NBC News had to send relatively unknown reporters to cover the shooting.
Opening and closing ceremoniesEdit
NBC has repeatedly received criticism for how it broadcasts the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, including its frequent refusals to broadcast them live in any form (including online stream) by citing the requirement to add "context" to the telecasts, the removal of ceremony content from these tape-delayed broadcasts, as well as the quality of their on-air commentary.
2010 closing ceremonyEdit
During the closing ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics, NBC went into an intermission of coverage at the end of the cultural section at 10:30 p.m. ET to broadcast the premiere episode of The Marriage Ref, and broadcast the remaining portion of the ceremonies on tape delay at 11:35 p.m. after late local newscasts. This spawned outbursts from upset viewers, especially on Twitter.
During the remaining portion after the "intermission," several performances were also cut, including French Canadian singer Garou's performance of Jean-Pierre Ferland's "Un peu plus haut, un peu plus loin"; three minutes of commercials were shown in place of his performance.
2012 opening ceremonyEdit
NBC faced a barrage of criticism following its broadcast of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. British news media lambasted NBC's decision to cut a tribute to the victims of the July 7, 2005 London bombings, calling it an "outrage." In response to the criticism, NBC spokesman Greg Hughes said:
|“||Our programming is tailored for the U.S. audience. It's a tribute to [opening ceremony producer] Danny Boyle that it required so little editing.||”|
The commentary – particularly that of Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer – was also criticized as "ignorant" and "banal". They admitted to not knowing who World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee was, mistakenly claimed that the actual Queen of England had parachuted into the stadium with James Bond (as opposed to a body double), and described Madagascar as "a country associated with a few animated movies". Australia was introduced as a former penal colony, and a joke about the former despotic dictator, Idi Amin, was used to describe Uganda by Bob Costas. Kazakhstan was introduced with comments about the March 2012 incident at the H.H. The Amir of Kuwait International Shooting Grand Prix in Kuwait, in which the mock Kazakhstan anthem from the film Borat was mistakenly played for gold medallist Maria Dmitrenko, and another Eastern European country introduced as having no chance of winning medals in that year's Olympics.
NBC also found itself on the defensive over its tape-delayed broadcast of the Opening Ceremony. American viewers took to Twitter to express their dismay at having to wait 3½ hours (6½ hours in the Pacific Time Zone) to see the opening event of the London Olympics. Most of the Twitter posts centered around NBC not offering online streaming of the Opening Ceremonies for U.S. viewers who wanted to watch the event live. Americans were forced to watch online streams of the ceremonies provided by either the BBC or CTV if they elected to watch it live. These failings were picked up during the NBC broadcast by Twitter users with the hashtag #nbcfail.
NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey said:
|“||It was never our intent to live stream the Opening Ceremony or Closing Ceremony. They are complex entertainment spectacles that do not translate well online because they require context, which our award-winning production team will provide for the large prime-time audiences that gather together to watch them.||”|
Despite these issues, the Nielsen ratings for the coverage set a record for an Olympics held outside of the United States. The ceremonies drew a 23.0 rating, which was a 7% increase over the 2008 Opening Ceremony in Beijing.
2012 closing ceremonyEdit
Due in part to lingering criticism from social media outlets like Twitter, NBC made a last-minute decision to reverse course and stream the closing ceremony live on NBCOlympics.com. However, when it aired on television, the ceremony was heavily edited for time. The ceremony in London lasted three hours, eight minutes and ten seconds; NBC's broadcast of the closing ceremony, by comparison, featured more than 51 minutes and 23 seconds of cuts – 27% of the entire closing ceremony, including the medal ceremony for the men's marathon, a tribute thanking the Olympic volunteers, a ballet sequence featuring Darcey Bussell that accompanied the extinguishing of the Olympic flame, and musical performances by Muse, Kate Bush and Ray Davies.
In addition, the ceremony was preempted before The Who's performance, in order to air a sneak preview of the sitcom Animal Practice and late local newscasts. Again, American viewers expressed their dismay using social media. Bob Costas himself criticized the decision when appearing on TBS' Conan in September 2012: "So here is the balance NBC has to consider: The Who, Animal Practice. Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend -- monkey in a lab coat. I'm sure you'd be the first to attest, Conan, that when it comes to the tough calls, NBC usually gets 'em right.".
2014 opening ceremonyEdit
Ignoring past criticisms, NBC again tape-delayed the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics, and refused to broadcast it live on any platform. NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus explained that the delay was so they could "put context to it, with the full pageantry it deserves".
NBC's most significant cuts included the removal of the taking of the Olympic oaths, and an entire passage discussing discrimination and equality was removed from IOC President Thomas Bach's speech.
2014 closing ceremonyEdit
Like in 2012, NBC streamed the closing ceremony in Sochi live on NBCOlympics.com, but also cut several portions during its tape-delayed primetime telecast. This time, NBC decided against interrupting its coverage midway through the ceremony like it did in 2010 and 2012, and instead aired its scheduled sneak preview episode of the sitcom Growing Up Fisher after the broadcast at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time. However, that meant that NBC only scheduled a two-hour window for their tape-delayed coverage of the ceremony, between a 90-minute documentary on Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan that aired from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Eastern, and the Growing Up Fisher preview.
2016 opening ceremonyEdit
Although NBC promoted that the 2016 Summer Olympics would feature more live coverage than previous years due to the fact that it occurred in a location that is only one hour ahead of the Eastern Time Zone, NBC continued with its previous practice of tape delaying the opening ceremony. It began at 7:00 p.m. ET, but was delayed to 8:00 p.m. ET/PT for the U.S. audience, resulting in the ceremony airing on an hour delay on the east coast, and a four-hour delay on the west. NBC cited a need to provide "context" for the ceremony's contents, as the network viewed the opening ceremony to be an entertainment event rather than sports content.
NBC was ultimately criticized for this tape delay, as well as the large amount of advertising it aired (which the Los Angeles Times argued was the actual reason for the delay); Mediaite calculated that it had aired six breaks amounting to 14 minutes of commercials in the first 40 minutes of the ceremony alone.
Unlike in 2012, viewership for the opening ceremonies via NBC went down to an average of 19.5 million viewers between 8 and 11 PM, a 32% decrease.
2016 closing ceremonyEdit
The closing ceremony in Rio was also tape-delayed to 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, preceded by an hour-long recap show (Rio Gold). Similarly to Sochi, the closing ceremony's lead-out—a preview of the eleventh season of The Voice, aired at 10:30 p.m.
At least 38% of the ceremony was cut from the NBC broadcast, including portions of the entry of athletes (although Deadspin noted that this portion took "a really, really long time"), a three-minute long montage of highlights from the Games, the medal presentation for the Men's marathon (despite American athlete Galen Rupp having won a bronze medal in the event), the inauguration of new IOC members, and a speech by organizing committee president Carlos Nuzman.
2018 opening ceremonyEdit
For the first time, NBC announced that it planned to offer a live stream of the opening ceremony. Mark Lazarus cited the ongoing criticism of NBC's decisions to tape delay the ceremonies, as well as changing "consumer behavior", as justification for the decision; Pyeongchang is 14 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time. The NBC network, however, carried its traditional tape delayed broadcast in primetime, without any additional tape delays to other time zones west of Eastern Time. 23 minutes were cut from the tape-delayed broadcast, including an introductory montage, the processions of the Olympic and South Korean flags, the speech by host committee president Lee Hee-Beom, portions of Thomas Bach's speech, a montage of the torch relay, and others (although it was also noted that seven minutes of coverage was devoted to the entry of the U.S. delegation).
During the parade of nations, NBC commentator Joshua Cooper Ramo described Japan as "a country which occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945", but "a cultural and technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation." The statement received immediate backlash in South Korea for being insensitive and ignorant to the host nation's ongoing disputes with Japan. NBC issued an apology. Co-host Katie Couric was also ridiculed in the Netherlands, after erroneously claiming that the Dutch succeed in speed skating because residents skate on the canals in Amsterdam when they freeze over.
2018 closing ceremonyEdit
Like its previous coverage, NBC had a live stream of the closing ceremony without any commentary, and then its traditional tape delayed coverage in primetime, without additional tape delays to the other time zones west of Eastern Time. Forty percent of the closing ceremony was cut from its tape-delayed broadcast, including a three-minute long montage of highlights from the Games, the medal presentations for the men and women's cross-country skiing marathons, the raising of the Greek flag, the speech by host committee president Lee Hee-Beom, a portion of Thomas Bach's closing address honoring athletes from each Olympics-participating continent (which included U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn, and popular Tongan athlete Pita Taufatofua, and most of the musical finale.
Despite the 2012 Summer Paralympics being a breakthrough games for international media coverage, helping significantly boost overall audience shares for British broadcaster Channel 4 and Australia's ABC, no Paralympics events were shown live on television in the United States. International Paralympic Committee President Philip Craven criticized North American broadcasters, and NBC specifically, for having fallen behind the times and said that the International Paralympic Committee would scrutinize its broadcast partners more carefully in the future. "If the values fit, we've got a chance. If they don't we'll go somewhere else," he said.
In September 2013, NBC subsequently acquired the rights to the 2014 and 2016 Paralympics, and announced plans to air a combined 116 hours of coverage from both Games. Craven praised NBC's decision to devote a relatively larger amount of airtime to future Paralympics, sharing his hope that U.S. audiences would be "as captivated and emotionally enthralled as the billions around the world who tuned in to London 2012 last summer."
2014 Winter OlympicsEdit
On February 16, 2014, reporter and former women's silver medalist Christin Cooper received criticism for her interview with Bode Miller after his bronze medal win in the men's super G alpine skiing event. During the post-event interview, as Miller became increasingly emotional, Cooper repeatedly questioned him about his late brother Chelone, who had died the previous April at the age of 29, until Miller broke down in tears and was unable to continue the interview. For her pressing of the issue, Cooper was described as having badgered Miller. NBC also received criticism for keeping the cameras on Miller, who sagged on the railing and cried without speaking, for more than a full minute, despite having had several hours in which to edit the footage before airing it. Later that evening, Miller tweeted his fans should "be gentle" with Cooper, as it was "not at all her fault," and "she asked the questions every interviewer would have." The following morning on Today, Miller reiterated his support for Cooper, saying, "I have known Christin a long time, and she's a sweetheart of a person. I know she didn't mean to push. I don't think she really anticipated what my reaction was going to be, and I think by the time she realized it, it was too late. I don't blame her at all."
Matt Lauer, who had been filling in for Bob Costas while the latter was ill, had engaged in inappropriate and unwanted sexual behavior with subordinates during the Games. This was one of the factors that led to his termination from NBC on November 29, 2017.
2016 Summer OlympicsEdit
On August 16, 2016, Boxing analyst Teddy Atlas accused NBC of deliberately "hiding" boxing competitions in Rio in an effort to hide suspected corruption by AIBA—the sanctioning body of boxing at the Olympics. He cited limited coverage as part of NBC's televised broadcasts, as well as the network's refusal to invite him back, after having called out questionable officiating during a controversial bout between Magomed Abdulhamidov and Satoshi Shimizu in 2012. The next day, it was reported that AIBA would remove several referees and judges from the competition under suspicion that they were not making decisions "at the levels expected".
As Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszú won a gold medal and broke a world record during the 400-meter individual medley, Dan Hicks credited a man as responsible for breaking the world record and winning the gold medal. There was no reference to who the "man" was, although some on social media angrily speculated that Hicks was alluding to Katinka Hosszú's husband, Shane Tusup (who was also the coach of the Hungarian Swimming Team). The comment from Hicks was criticized as sexist. Hicks later said "It is impossible to tell Katinka's story accurately without giving appropriate credit to Shane, and that's what I was trying to do." He also added that "with live TV, there are often times you look back and wished you had said things differently." The next day, Al Trautwig, was criticized for stating incorrect information about the parents of gymnast Simone Biles. On air, Trautwig stated that Ron Biles and Nellie Biles are Simone's grandparents that adopted her and her sister in 2001. Later on, Trautwig tweeted that Ron and Nellie were actually her parents, to which fans on Twitter started the hashtag, #FireTrautwig. Trautwig later apologized, stating "I regret that I wasn't more clear in my wording on the air. I compounded the error on Twitter, which I quickly corrected. To set the record straight, Ron and Nellie are Simone's parents."
On August 9, some viewers became upset on Twitter after commentator Cynthia Potter failed to mention that British diver Tom Daley was a well known gay athlete, as Potter was focused on the replays. NBC later made a statement to The Advocate that "with more than 11,000 athletes at the Games, it isn't always possible to identify every competitor's significant other, regardless of their sexual orientation." Later, the partner of Brazilian volleyball player Larissa França, Liliane Maestrini, was referred to by commentator Chris Marlowe as her "husband". It led to confusion and dismay for some viewers as Larissa and Liliane are both female and are a same-sex couple. NBC later apologized stating that "Liliane is Larissa's wife."
2018 Winter OlympicsEdit
During the Women's super-G competition, NBC prematurely cut away from the competition to return to figure skating, while commentators acknowledged on-air multiple times that Veith had won the gold medal. However, snowboarder Ester Ledecká would overtake Veith in an upset victory, beating her by one hundredth of a second. Ledecká had recently begun a career in alpine, and had been considered an underdog in the competition. NBC eventually returned to the event to report on the final result, with commentator Dan Hicks remarking "Well, these are the Olympics, and anything can happen."
- Anthony Crupi (June 7, 2011). "Update: NBC Bids $4.38 Billion for Olympic Gold". Ad Week. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "Olympics on NBC through 2032". USA Today. Gannett Company. May 7, 2014.
- "Youth Olympics on NBC through 2032". NBC Sports. August 12, 2014.
- "Paralympics on NBC in 2014 and 2016". NBC Sports. September 24, 2013.
- "Fewer Russians Could Be a Windfall for U.S. Olympic Business". The New York Times. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
- "Why You Hate NBC's Olympics Coverage: It's reality TV masquerading as a sporting event". Slate.com. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Campbell, Denis (July 16, 2006). "BBC at war over 'mad' Olympic start times". The Observer. The Guardian.
- Farhi, Paul (21 February 2014). "In coverage of Olympics, NBC has largely steered clear of controversy". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Television Sports Milestones: A Chronology of an Industry". MyWire.com.
- "Tokyo 1964: A tough job, but..." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
- "Olympics and Television". Museum of Broadcast Communications.
- "NBC acquires rights to 1980 Moscow Olympics". NBC Sports History Page.
- Richard Sandomir (July 21, 2005). "Remembering Games That Were Barely There". The New York Times. The New York Times Company.
- Rick Reilly (September 26, 1988). "The Mourning Anchor". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc.
- "Bryant Gumbel, NBC's Olympic host, is alone at the top—all alone with the memory of his father". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. Archived from the original on February 28, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- William Oscar Johnson; William Taaffe (December 26, 1988). "A Whole New Game". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc.
- William Oscar Johnson (December 12, 1988). "A Golden Opportunity". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc.
- "Television Rights". ESPN Sports Almanac: 609. 2008.
- "NBC posts $223 million 1Q loss on Winter Olympics". Associated Press. April 17, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010.
- "Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski return to NBC in primetime for Winter Olympics figure skating coverage". Awful Announcing. 2017-11-16. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
- "'Olympic Ice' relishes fun of Games". USA Today. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
- "Report: NBC Wins Latest Olympics TV Rights Bid". TV by the Numbers. June 7, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Ben Koo (February 27, 2013). "LOOKING BACK AT NBC SPORTS NETWORK'S LACK OF GROWTH". AwfulAnnouncing.com. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Spangler, Todd (2016-07-27). "DirecTV, Dish, Comcast to Deliver NBC Rio Olympics Programming in 4K Ultra HD". Variety. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
- "Rio Olympics: NBC Plans 4K and High Dynamic Range for Opening Ceremony Coverage". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- "Olympic Broadcasting: Inside the Chief Executive's Office". TV Technology. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- "Comcast and NBC to Make the 2016 Summer Olympic Games Accessible to People with Vision Loss through Live Description". American Foundation for the Blind. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- "Olympics on NBC through 2032". USA Today. Gannett Company. May 7, 2014.
- "Fewer Russians Could Be a Windfall for U.S. Olympic Business". The New York Times. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
- Longman, Jeré (12 February 2018). "For Olympic Figure Skaters, a New Meaning to Morning Routine". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "NBC to Broadcast Winter Olympics Live Across All Time Zones". Variety. 2017-03-28. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
- Staff, SVG. "PyeongChang 2018: NBC To Air Live, Nightly Primetime Coverage Across All Time Zones; Will Live-Stream Opening Ceremony". Sports Video Group. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
- "Bob Costas steps down as NBC host of Olympics; Mike Tirico to replace him". USA Today. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- "Brennan: Bob Costas has been the face of the Olympics for Americans". USA Today. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- "NBC to Air Tonight-Lite in 2nd Week of Olympics". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
- Moraes, Lisa de (2018-02-20). "Paul Rudd Game For 'Tonight Show Fallon 5' Debut During PyeongChang Olympics". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
- "NBC To Create "Olympic Zone" Lead-In Show For Turin Games". SportsBusiness Daily. December 6, 2005. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Ben Grossman (December 2, 2006). "Affiliates Plan Local Olympics Show". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- "The World Comes Together in Your Living Room: The Olympics on TV".
- Gerald Eskenazi (September 18, 1988). "THE SEOUL OLYMPICS: TV Sports; NBC's Coverage Captures the Color, but Not the Fun". The New York Times. The New York Times Company.
- Michael Hiestand; Rudy Martzke (April 22, 2003). "Bidding for the Olympics on TV". USA Today. Gannett Company.
- "Nbc's Olympian Gamble". Newsweek. January 13, 1992.
- "NBC's Olympic Coverage from Athens". USOC PressBox.
- "NBC ANNOUNCES UNPRECEDENTED COVERAGE OF THE 2006 TORINO OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES". US Olympic Team.
- Includes 207 hours on CNBC and MSNBC]
- Includes 226 hours on NBC, 133.5 hours on MSNBC, 111 hours on CNBC, 122 hours on Bravo, 49 hours on USA and 169.5 hours on Telemundo
- Includes 182.5 hours on NBC and 233.5 hours on CNBC, MSNBC and USA
- "NBC Universal Announces Coverage Plans for 2010 Winter Olympics". Fang's Bites. January 14, 2010. Archived from the original on December 19, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "The Olympic Television Guide". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. July 26, 2012. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Chad, Norman (January 19, 2014). "Sochi Olympics: Couch Slouch guide to NBC's 1,539 hours of Winter Games programming". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- "Volleyball Well Represented by NBC's Around-the-Clock Olympic TV Coverage". Olympic-USA.org. Archived from the original on 2004-12-27. Retrieved 2008-05-08. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Burlingame, Jon (February 21, 2014). "Film Composers Achieve Olympic Victory: Tiomkin music to be featured in Sochi closing ceremony". The Film Music Society. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
- Clemmensen, Christian. "John Williams: American Journey". Filmtracks.com. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
- "The mysteries of NBC's Olympics theme music". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "The Fascinating Origin of the Olympic Anthem". Variety. 2016-08-06. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Burlingame, Jon (February 21, 2014). "Film Composers Achieve Olympic Victory". The Film Music Society. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
- "Obscure Tune Rides Again at the Olympics". Los Angeles Times. 2002-02-25. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Enough about Johnny. Is this the last U.S. Open to feature Yanni? The story behind one of sports' greatest theme songs". Golf Digest. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
- "Yanni's "In Celebration of Man" is back -- and it's as glorious as ever". Golf Digest. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
- "Here's a John Tesh Song You've Heard Hundreds of Times". LA Weekly. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- Pietroluongo, Silvio (August 8, 2012). "Carly Rae Jepsen Claims Longest Hot 100 No. 1 Run of 2012". Billboard.
- Trust, Gary (August 14, 2012). "Ask Billboard: Phillip Phillips Goes 'Home' To Hot 100's Top 10". Billboard. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- Caulfield, Keith (2012-08-02). "Phillip Phillips' 'Home' Sales Surge Thanks to Olympic Gymnasts". Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Smith, Grady (August 9, 2012). "How Phillip Phillips' song 'Home' was chosen for the Olympics". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
- Kaufman, Gil (July 15, 2016). "Watch Katy Perry's Inspirational 'Rise' Rio Olympics Video". Billboard. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
- Katz, Jessie (July 22, 2016). "Katy Perry Releases Teaser Video for Olympics Anthem 'Rise'". Billboard. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Staff, Variety (2018-02-03). "NBC to Use Keala Settle's 'This Is Me' to Spark Attention for Winter Olympics". Variety. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2016-08-12. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|dead-url=(help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Billings, Andrew; Angelini, James R.; MacArthur, Paul J.; Smith, Lauren R.; Vincent, John (1 June 2014). "Fanfare for the American NBC's Prime-Time Broadcast of the 2012 London Olympiad". Electronic News. 8 (2): 101–119. doi:10.1177/1931243114546447.
- Billings, A.C., Angelini, J.R., & MacArthur, P.J. (2018). Olympic Television: Broadcasting the Biggest Show on Earth. Routledge. ISBN 9781138930322.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Angelini, James R.; MacArthur, Paul J.; Smith, Lauren Reichart; Billings, Andrew C. (3 December 2015). "Nationalism in the United States and Canadian primetime broadcast coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics". International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 52 (7): 779–800. doi:10.1177/1012690215619205.
- "Russian state broadcasters commit to PyeongChang coverage". Retrieved 2018-02-06.
- Alexander, Harriet (2016-08-10). "NBC criticised for 'worst ever' Olympic coverage in America". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-08-11.
- Richard Sandomir (July 2, 2012). "NBC Goes Digital for Olympics, but Tape Will Still Roll in Prime Time". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
- Alan Abrahamson (May 10, 2000). "Olympics Will Be Shown Without Live TV, NBC Says". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing.
- "NBC airs men's basketball final live". Sports Illustrated. Time Warner. September 30, 2000. Archived from the original on July 20, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Olympic Ratings Stay Low". Los Angeles Times. 2000-10-03. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
- Shapiro, Leonard (September 22, 2000). "In Terms of TV Ratings, Olympics Are a Real Turn Off". Washington Post. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- "Reality or "Reality"?: Should NBC's Olympics Coverage Be More Straightforward?". TIME.com. August 8, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- "NBC has sucked all of the suspense out of the Olympics". vox.com. August 18, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
- "The Olympics Rage-o-Meter: The Peacock pretends to be shocked by Evgeni Plushenko's abrupt figure skating departure". Slate. February 22, 2014.
- "NBC won't broadcast Rio Olympics opening ceremony live". Philly.com. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Stasi, Linda (August 6, 2016). "Gold-medal fool: NBC marketing honcho insults women and all Olympics viewers". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
- Jenkins, Sally (August 6, 2016). "By 'packaging' the Olympics, NBC insults viewers, and the athletes themselves". Washington Post. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
- "Ex-analyst Dwight Stones: NBC's meager field coverage is 'a disgrace and disservice'". Washington Post. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Former NBC Analyst Dwight Stones Says NBC's Track-and-Field Coverage Is a "Disgrace"". Slate. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Wiedman, Reeves (August 9, 2016). "Women's Gymnastics Deserves Better TV Coverage". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- Baker, Geoff (August 14, 2016). "NBC's tape-delayed Olympic coverage not keeping up with times". Seattle Times.
- Cooper-Chen, Anne (2005). Global entertainment media. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-8058-5168-7. Retrieved March 21, 2009.
- Longman, Jeré (2018-02-12). "For Olympic Figure Skaters, a New Meaning to Morning Routine". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
- "Why all the midnight madness for some Olympians?". CBC News. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Australia's Olympic swimmers can sleep easy at Rio despite late night meets thanks to recovery training". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Greed, Passion, Lust, Betrayal, and the Olympics in Between". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Swimming, beach volleyball will be on late in Rio". US News & World Report. Archived from the original on 8 January 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "NBC's coverage of Olympics misses the thrill". Salt Lake Tribune. February 20, 2010. Archived from the original on February 23, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Vancouver Olympics Coverage Requires Fewer Tape Delays, Except for West Coast Viewers". The Wall Street Journal. February 11, 2010.[dead link]
- "Tape Delay an Olympic Dilemma". Newser.com. February 11, 2010.
- Ron Judd (January 16, 2010). "NBC's 'live' Olympic coverage is anything but for West Coast viewers". Seattle Times.
- "Even Senators Hated NBC Universal's Olympic Coverage". TechDirt. March 1, 2010.
- Spencer Hall (February 16, 2010). "NBC Olympics Coverage, Making Sports Fans Hate The Network More Than Ever". SB Nation.
- Joanne T. Gerstner (February 20, 2010). "Canadian TV Switch Displeases Americans". The New York Times. The New York Times Company.
- Ryan Helse (March 8, 2012). "NBC to use YouTube streaming technology for 2012 Olympics". TheVerge. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- Jennifer Svan (August 8, 2012). "Delayed Olympic coverage irks AFN viewers". Stars and Stripes.
- Michael Hiestand (August 6, 2012). "London Olympics TV poll". USA Today. Gannett Company.
- "Stream the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics". CNET. CBS Corporation. February 4, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "Road Map to NBC Olympics' Digital Coverage of 2014 Olympic Winter Games". NBC Sports Group Press Box (Press release). February 7, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- Cassandra Szklarski (February 10, 2014). "Some U.S. viewers turn to CBC amid complaints about NBC's Olympic coverage". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Canadian Press. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
- Denley, Susan. "Former figure skaters Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski promoted". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
- Sandomir, Richard (February 19, 2012). "In Figure Skating, the Second Team Shines". The New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "NBC Criticized For Acting Like Evgeni Plushenko Is Still In Olympics Hours After He Withdraws". The Huffington Post. AOL. February 14, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "The Olympics Rage-o-Meter: The Peacock pretends to be shocked by Evgeni Plushenko's abrupt figure skating departure". Slate.com. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "NBC's Rio 2016 Coverage Short-Shrifts Women's Gymnastics, Pushing It Into Late-Night". Variety. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Wemple, Erik (February 14, 2018). "Defying experts, NBC clings to its 'PyeongChang' pronunciation". Washington Post. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- Yam, Kimberly (February 15, 2018). "NBC Insists On Saying 'Pyeongchang' Incorrectly Because 'It's Cleaner'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- Steinberg, Brian (February 15, 2018). "TV News Tests Different Coverage Strategies for Florida Shooting". Variety. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- Flood, Brian. "Embarrassment as NBC News struggles to cover Florida school shooting from South Korea". Fox News. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- Will Oremus (February 5, 2014). "How to Watch the Winter Olympics Online". Slate. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- David Bauder (July 27, 2012). "NBC opens Olympics coverage by upsetting fans who wanted to see ceremony live". Newser.com. Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "US viewers tweet up a storm after NBC cuts Olympic closing ceremonies show". Winnipeg Free Press. Canadian Press. February 28, 2010.
- Daily Mail Reporter (July 28, 2012). "Outrage as U.S. broadcaster NBC edits out Olympics Opening Ceremony tribute to victims of 7/7 terrorist attacks". The Daily Mail. London.
- "Viewers outraged after NBC cuts away from Olympics closing ceremony". CNN. August 13, 2012.
- "NBC cuts The Who, Ray Davies, Muse from Olympics". Billboard.
- Emma G Keller (July 28, 2012). "NBC lambasted over banal butchering of opening ceremony – and rightly so". The Guardian. London.
- "Live Updates From Closing Ceremony". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. February 28, 2010.
- "Garou boudé par les États-Unis". TVA. February 18, 2010.
- Michael Hiestand (July 28, 2012). "NBC elects to skip tribute to victims at opening ceremony". USA Today. Gannett Company.
- Adams, Guy (July 30, 2012). "As America succeeds at the games back home, all the talk is about NBC fail". The Independent. London.
- Josh Levin (July 28, 2012). "NBC Olympics coverage: Meredith Vieira at the Opening Ceremony: It's Cool To Be Ignorant". Slate.
- "The Opening Ceremonies in London: From the Industrial Revolution to Voldemort". NPR. July 28, 2012.
- "NBC's broadcast of the Olympics Opening Ceremony was the worst". The Observer. July 2012.
- Scott Collins (July 27, 2012). "NBC ripped for not livestreaming opening ceremony of Olympics". Los Angeles Times (Show Tracker). Tribune Publishing.
- Chenda Ngak (July 27, 2012). "Twitter to NBC: Livestream the Olympics opening ceremony". CBS News.
- Heidi Moore (July 30, 2012). "NBC fail shows network's commitment to 'the last great buggy-whip Olympics'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- "Tape-delayed Opening Ceremony turns out to be ratings gold". Globe Gazette. Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "NBCOlympics.com to livestream Olympic Closing Ceremony". NBCOlympics.com.
- "NBC cut nearly an hour from its Closing Ceremony telecast: Here's everything they didn't show you, including The Kinks' Ray Davies". Deadspin.
- Rick Porter (September 13, 2012). "'Conan': Bob Costas not a fan of NBC's Olympic closing ceremony coverage". Zap2it. Tribune Company. Archived from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "A giant bear, a Daft Punk cover and other things you missed in the Opening Ceremony". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- "NBC Edits Out IOC Anti-Discrimination Statement From Opening Ceremony". Deadspin. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- "NBC to offer live streaming for Olympics Closing Ceremony". Albany Times Union. February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Sara Bibel (January 10, 2014). "NBC Sets Premiere Dates for 'About a Boy', 'Growing Up Fisher', 'Believe', 'Crisis' & More". TV by the Numbers. Zap2It (Tribune Company). Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- "Sochi Olympics Closing Ceremony: NBC's Presentation". Deadline Hollywood. February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- "Rio Olympics opening ceremony: How to watch, time, TV info". USA Today. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- "Armour: NBC fails again with Rio opening ceremony delay". USA Today. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
- "NBC to air opening ceremony of Rio Olympics on one-hour delay". USA Today. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
- "NBC Expects 15 Percent Increase in Ad Sales for Rio Olympics". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- DePaolo, Joe. "NBC is Airing a Ton of Commercials During the Olympics' Opening Ceremony and People Aren't Happy". Mediaite. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- "Review Opening ceremony proves Rio can throw a party; NBC, not so much". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- "TV Ratings: Olympic Competition Opens With 19.5M Viewers, Still Down From London".
- "TV coverage of final day of Rio Olympics features U.S. men's basketball team's final push for gold and Closing Ceremonies". The Wiihita Eagle. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Swift, Andy (2016-06-30). "'The Voice' Olympics Special — Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys' Premiere Episode". TVLine. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
- "NBC's Closing Ceremony Broadcast Edited Out More Than An Hour. Here's What You Missed". Deadspin. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Tornoe, Rob. "NBC will stream the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony for the first time". Philly.com. Internet Archive: Philadelphia Media Network. Archived from the original on 10 February 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
- Burke, Timothy (10 February 2018). "NBC's Opening Ceremony Broadcast Edited Out 23 Minutes Of The Event, So Here's What You Missed". Deadspin. Internet Archive: Gizmodo Media Group. Archived from the original on 10 February 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
- "NBC analyst under fire in Korea over ignorant comment". koreatimes. 2018-02-11. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
- "NBC apologizes to Korean people after correspondent's 'ignorant, 'insensitive' comment". www.msn.com. Archived from the original on 2018-02-11. Retrieved 2018-02-11. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Katie Couric is being mocked for saying the Netherlands dominates speed skating because it's 'an important mode of transportation' in Amsterdam". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
- "2018 Winter Olympics closing ceremony: how to watch and what to expect". Vox.com. 24 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
- Burke, Timothy (26 February 2018). "NBC Only Aired 60% Of The Winter Games Closing Ceremony Last Night, So Here's The 40% You Missed". Deadspin. Gizmodo Media Group. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
- "Paralympics coverage changed disability perceptions, says C4". MediaWeek. September 10, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- "Paralympics a ratings winner for ABC". The Australian. September 12, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- "NBC criticised Paralympics after opening ceremony blackout". The Daily Telegraph. London. August 30, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- BBC News (September 10, 2012). "Extra scrutiny for Paralympic TV deals". Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- Davies, Gareth A (September 24, 2013). "Paralympic Movement given huge boost as American channels NBC and NBCSN will cover next two Games". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
- Mike Dyce (February 17, 2014). "NBC reporter badgers Bode Miller about dead brother till he cries". Fansided. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Richard Sandomir (February 17, 2014). "NBC Pushes Too Far in Bringing Bode Miller to Tears". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Scott Stump (February 17, 2014). "Bode Miller on NBC reporter: 'I don't blame her at all' for emotional interview". Today. NBC News. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Triggs, Charlotte (29 November 2017). "Matt Lauer Accused of Inappropriate Behavior at Sochi Olympics". People. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
- "Boxing: NBC asked to cease ringside commentary". Reuters. August 10, 2012. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- "Teddy Atlas: NBC hides corrupt Olympic boxing matches". Sports Illustrated. August 16, 2016.
- "ESPN Analyst Teddy Atlas Denounces 'Corrupt' Olympic Boxing, Rips NBC for 'Hiding'". Mediaite. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- Belson, Ken (2016-08-17). "Boxing Judges and Refs Removed After Suspicious Results". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- Roman Stubbs. "'The man responsible': NBC broadcaster draws ire after crediting world record to swimmer's husband". The Washington Postdate=August 7, 2016. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
- "Olympic analyst defends comments criticized as sexist". August 7, 2016. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
- Marcus Gilmer (August 8, 2016). Mashable Inc. http://mashable.com/2016/08/08/nbc-tweet-simone-biles/#8rJoxXnbBmqK. Retrieved August 8, 2016. Missing or empty
- "NBC analyst criticized over comment about Simone Biles".
- "NBC's Al Trautwig apologizes for comments on Simone Biles' parents".
- "Why NBC Sports Never Noted Tom Daley Is an Out Athlete". 9 August 2016.
- Thomas, June (9 August 2016). "How Do You Get NBC to Ignore a Human Interest Story? Have the Humans Be Gay" – via Slate.
- Buzinski, Jim (9 August 2016). "NBC calls wife of gay athlete her 'husband'".
- "NBC's Chris Marlowe calls Olympic athlete's same-sex spouse wrong gender".
- "Anna Veith hits back at Bode Miller with Olympic silver". Washington Post. Associated Pressdate=2018-02-17. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
- Ivie, Devon. "NBC Erroneously Declared Olympic Winner in Women's Skiing Before Finals Ended". Vulture. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
- Burke, Timothy. "How NBC Flubbed Its Coverage, Reported The Wrong Gold Medalist, Then Botched The Correction Of One Of The Most Stunning Upsets In Olympic History". Screengrabber (Deadspin). Retrieved 2018-02-17.
- Official website
- Ebersol Says He's Ready For Pay-Per-View Time
- NBC has company in the Olympic TV business
- NBC's Bid For TV Glory
- Olympics on TV: All Games all the time
- TV Theme - Olympic Spirit by Boston Pops Orchestra 1988.wav
- "Olympic Commentators by Event History". Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved March 27, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|dead-url=(help)CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
| U.S. Winter Olympics Broadcaster
Olympics on NBC (1972)
| U.S. Winter Olympics Broadcaster
Olympics on NBC (2002–)
| U.S. Summer Olympics Broadcaster
Olympics on NBC (1964)
| U.S. Summer Olympics Broadcaster
Olympics on NBC (1980)
| U.S. Summer Olympics Broadcaster
Olympics on NBC (1988–)