NBC coverage of Vancouver Games sets broadcasting milestones

Jim Williams Contributor
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This week, NBC will begin round-the-clock coverage on multiple network platforms that will bring winter Olympic fans more in-depth coverage of the Vancouver Games than there was for any other Winter Games in history. The Games are yet another example of how important multiple networks and broadband platforms are to presenting major events.

As a matter of fact, the 835 total hours of coverage on six NBC Universal platforms – NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC and Universal HD, as well as – is nearly double the amount of coverage for the games in Torino (419) and is, in fact, more than the hours spent covering Torino and Salt Lake City (375.5) combined (794.5).

Also of note is that Vancouver will be the first Winter Olympics broadcast entirely in high definition, as well as the first-ever to be broadcast in high definition online.

As expected, the primetime host will be Bob Costas, a 20-time Emmy Award winner. Costas is serving as primetime host for the eighth time and works his ninth overall Olympics for NBC. Costas has become America’s premier Olympic host, and he handles the job with just the right balance of whit and journalistic style.

Costas has established has established himself as the premier host is sports television. He’ll have plenty of help in Vancouver.

Thirty years after ‘Miracle on Ice’ and twenty-two years after covering his last Olympics for ABC, Al Michaels is back in the host’s chair for NBC Sports. The man who is known best by a generation for his football broadcasting will serve as the afternoon host for the NBC Olympic coverage.

The Late Night host will be the very talented and underrated Mary Carillo. She will be doing double duty for the network as both late night host and Olympic correspondent and is working her 10th Olympic Games and seventh with NBC.

Carrillo will be joined in the role of roving correspondent by Cris Collinsworth, who’s also serving as an Olympic correspondent and making his third Olympic appearance for NBC.

Universal Sports will present Universal Sports at the Vancouver Games, delivering five hours of live daily news and information as well as continuous news and results updates throughout the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Universal Sports’ talent roster for Universal Sports at the Vancouver Games includes a cast of celebrated Olympians, renowned commentators, Olympic insiders and veteran journalists.

Veteran sports host and anchor Terry Gannon will host Vancouver Olympic News Center daily at 10 a.m. ET from the Olympic Broadcast Center in Vancouver and will be joined by sports journalist/anchor Lindsay Soto. Gannon will also host The Vancouver Figure Skating Hour daily at 2 p.m. ET.

Emmy Award-winning NBC Sports reporter and host Jimmy Roberts will anchor Meet the Olympic Press, a daily roundtable discussion featuring veteran Olympic reporters.

Here are the NBC broadcast teams by sports:


· ALPINE SKIING: Play-by-play commentator Tim Ryan returns to NBC for his ninth Olympics and his sixth Games serving in this role. Also returning is Todd Brooker, a three-time World Cup downhill champion who previously worked as an analyst for both the Torino and Salt Lake City Games. Returning to NBC for the first time since Salt Lake in 2002 is 1984 Olympic giant slalom silver medalist Christin Cooper, who will serve as an analyst. Former U.S. Ski team downhill racer Steve Porino again serves as an on-course reporter, his third Olympic assignment with NBC.

· BIATHLON/CROSS COUNTRY: Al Trautwig, a sportscasting veteran for over two decades, returns to NBC for his eighth Olympic assignment and 13th Olympics overall as the play-by-play commentator. Working alongside Trautwig in his second Olympic broadcast assignment is former U.S. Biathlon team member Chad Salmela.

· BOBSLED/LUGE/SKELETON: Returning to NBC for his eighth Olympic assignment, Bob Papa will serve as the bobsled/luge/skeleton play-by-play commentator. Lewis Johnson, reporting from his sixth Olympic Games, will work alongside Papa as a reporter in all three disciplines. Serving as analysts are: former U.S. National Bobsled team member John Morgan (bobsled); three-time Olympian Duncan Kennedy (luge); and Olympic silver medalist Lea Ann Parsley (skeleton).

· CURLING: In his sixth Olympic assignment with NBC, Fred Roggin, sports anchor at KNBC-TV, NBC’s owned-and-operated station in Los Angeles, and winner of 28 regional Emmy awards, will serve as host. Andrew Catalon, a sports anchor from NBC’s affiliate in Albany, N.Y., returns as a play-by-play commentator in his second Olympic assignment and first winter Games. Serving as analysts are two-time world champions and native Canadians Don Duguid and Colleen Jones. Reprising her role as curling reporter, Elfi Schlegel, who is also from Canada, returns for her 10th Olympics.

· FIGURE SKATING: Tom Hammond, working his ninth Olympics, will serve as figure skating play-by-play commentator. Scott Hamilton, Olympic gold medalist, member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame, and one of the most recognized male figure skating stars in the world, will serve as an analyst. Working alongside Hamilton are analysts Sandra Bezic, a former Olympian and Canadian pairs champion, and Tracy Wilson, who was part of the first Canadian ice dance team to earn an Olympic medal in 1988. Andrea Joyce, who returns for her sixth Olympic assignment with NBC, will serve as a reporter.

· FREESTYLE SKIING: In his second Olympic assignment with NBC, Todd Harris, will serve as the play-by-play commentator for freestyle skiing. Joining Harris in his Olympic broadcasting debut is Olympic moguls gold medalist Jonny Moseley, who will serve as an analyst. In her second Olympic appearance and her first time covering freestyle skiing, Tina Dixon, a former professional snowboarder, will provide reporting. Harris and Moseley will also handle ski cross duties.

· HOCKEY: Veteran broadcaster Bill Patrick will host all hockey coverage in Vancouver, his second Olympic broadcast assignment with NBC. Mike “Doc” Emrick (sixth Olympics and third with NBC) and Kenny Albert (third Olympics, all with NBC) will serve as play-by-commentators for both men’s and women’s hockey. Analyst Ed Olczyk (first Olympics), inside-the-glass reporter Pierre McGuire (second Olympics) and studio analyst Mike Milbury (first Olympics) will reprise their NHL on NBC “Game of the Week” roles in Vancouver. Joe Micheletti (game analyst), making his sixth Olympic appearance, and former NHL all-star Jeremy Roenick (studio analyst), making his Olympic broadcasting debut, will bolster the men’s hockey roster. Micheletti will also serve as a reporter for both men’s and women’s hockey. Olympic gold medalist Cammi Granato returns to NBC for her second Olympic appearance as women’s hockey studio analyst. Reprising her role from Torino, AJ Mleczko will serve as women’s hockey analyst.

· SHORT TRACK: Ted Robinson, working his seventh Olympic Games and his sixth with NBC, returns as play-by-play commentator for short track speed skating. Making his NBC broadcasting debut is Olympic silver medalist and four-time Olympian Andy Gabel, who will work alongside Robinson as an analyst. Andrea Joyce will serve as a reporter.

· SKI JUMPING: In his fourth Olympic assignment, Matt Vasgersian reprises his role from Torino as ski jumping play-by-play commentator. Working alongside Vasgersian is four-time national champion Jeff Hastings, who will serve as an analyst for his seventh Olympics and third with NBC.

· SNOWBOARDING: Pat Parnell will serve as lead play-by-play commentator for snowboarding, a role he served in Torino as well. World champion and former U.S. Olympian Todd Richards returns as an analyst in his second Olympic broadcast assignment. Tina Dixon will serve as a reporter.

· SPEED SKATING: Dan Hicks, host of NBC Sports’ Emmy Award-winning golf coverage, will serve as the lead play-by-play commentator for speed skating, his eighth Olympic assignment for NBC. Olympic gold medalist Dan Jansen, serving as an analyst, returns for his fourth Olympic assignment. This is the duo’s third Olympic speed skating assignment as a broadcast team. In her second Olympic appearance, Andrea Kremer will provide reporting.

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Jim Williams is a seven time Emmy Award winning TV producer, director and writer. His columns also appear in the Washington Examiner. You can reach him at