For the Beijing Olympics in 2008, you can travel 6,000 miles to see the games live, or you can just turn to NBC. NBC Universal — about to begin a new round of negotiations with advertisers for the 2008 Summer Games — will offer the first real-time coverage of the games, streaming up to 1,000 hours online.
Live prime time
In addition, NBC learned last week that after five years of talks, it has persuaded the International Olympics Committee to schedule two of the most popular sports — gymnastics and swimming — at a time that will allow the network to broadcast them live in prime time in the U.S. Events that begin at 10 a.m. in Beijing can be covered at 10 p.m. in prime time.
Dick Ebersol, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics chairman, revealed news about its digital plans exclusively to Advertising Age, saying: “We’re not prepared to make the hard announcement, but we’ll be in a position to live-stream between 800 and 1,000 hours of coverage in addition to 800 hours on cable and 200 hours on the network.”