The Olympic cauldron burns bright in London July 27-Aug. 12, as the opening ceremony marks the beginning of the Summer Olympic Games. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) is the creative force behind the lavish Shakespeare-inspired “Isles of Wonder” ceremony, highlighted by Queen Elizabeth II officially opening the Games.
Aside from the enormity of the spectacle, the stories are what hold our interest for 17 days, and there’s no shortage of intrigue for U.S. athletes in these Games. Will track stars Lolo Jones, Tyson Gay, Brittney Reese and Allyson Felix rebound from disappointment in Beijing? Will Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and the U.S. women’s gymnastics team get its first team all-around gold since 1996? Will the U.S. women’s soccer team avenge its World Cup loss? Will anyone care about the U.S. basketball team? Will man/fish Michael Phelps win three medals to become the most decorated Olympian ever? And are we enjoying women’s beach volleyball for all the wrong reasons? (Don’t answer that.)
NBCUniversal will present 5,535 hours of multi-platform Olympic coverage, nearly 2,000 more than the 2008 Beijing Games. All sports and all 302 medal competitions will be televised. Here’s the breakdown of networks and their coverage:
NBC In addition to opening and closing ceremonies, NBC again airs prime-time coverage of marquee sports like swimming, gymnastics, diving, track and field, and beach volleyball. Bob Costas returns as prime-time host, with Al Michaels and Dan Patrick hosting during the day. Ryan Seacrest, John McEnroe, Bela Karolyi and Mary Carillo serve as correspondents.
NBC Sports Network Team sports can be seen on NBC Sports Network, including basketball, women’s soccer and field hockey. Coverage starts July 25 with the USA-France women’s soccer match.
MSNBC Up to 18 medal rounds from 20 different sports air on MSNBC, with long-form coverage of events like badminton, soccer, basketball and wrestling. Kelly Tilghman hosts.
CNBC Women’s boxing makes its debut at the London Games, and CNBC is devoting its schedule to the sweet science, with 73 hours of men’s and women’s boxing over 16 days. Fred Roggin returns as boxing host.
Bravo Bravo has 56 hours of tennis coverage from July 28-Aug. 3, with Pat O’Brien working as host.
Telemundo Legendary sportscaster Andrés Cantor heads up Telemundo’s Spanish-language Olympic broadcasts, with more than 173 hours dedicated to soccer, boxing, basketball, swimming and features on Hispanics participating in the Games.
NBCOlympics.com Every event and sport will be streamed online for the first time ever, with simulcasts of NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo available to authenticated broadband users. Event replays, highlights, athlete profiles and more can be found online. Mobile and tablet users can download two apps that provide live video, highlights, results and more.
Photo: Credit: Tang Shi/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com/Newscom