Blog Post

NBC U Pieces Together Complex Olympics Coverage; Will Have Dedicated Channel On MobiTV

: Not only will NBC Universal broadcast 418 hours of coverage across its own broadcast and cable networks, the U.S. rightsholder for the 2006 Winter Olympics has patched together an online/mobile network that may be unprecedented in terms of extending reach — teaming up with more than a dozen companies ranging from to Zingy for access to Torino beyond the big screen. Among those involved: Apple, Google,, Intel, Lenovo, and Zap2It. Three of the sites —, Google and — are traffic magnets — as well as traffic drivers. Highlights include:

Mobile: During the 2004 Summer Olympics, mobile video was limited to brief highlights on Edge-enabled AT&T Wireless handsets; at the time, that was the Nokia 6620. This time, anyone with a MobiTV subscription can watch highlights on a dedicated channel that will be updated daily. It’s not the same as live portability but it’s a step closer. I’m told — can’t say by whom — another mobile announcement is expected. No details but Verizon V Cast is the biggest name missing since both Sprint and Cingular offer MobiTV. Other mobile offerings include the Zingy-produced mobile edition of a mobile storefront for Olympic-related ringtones and wallpaper.

Google Video: Another high-profile chance for Google Video. NBC will feed Google hundreds of pre-Games previews, in-Games 15-second previews of highlights that will link to for the full clips, and post-Games highlights and highlights of individual sports for download to own. In a twist that may rile some Google purists, Google search user who type in Olympic keywords will be offered the clips and other Olympic-related content. Type in the write right words — “ice hockey” instead of “hockey,” “speed skating” instead of “speedskating” — and a blue-shaded results box at the top shows the TV schedule and links to NBC’s site. This pragmatic agreement was made before the Al Michaels’ deal that resulted in expanded cable video highlights. will get a daily two-minute Bob Costas video for ESPN Motion (including promotion for NBC primetime) while users who click on Olympics see a co-branded page that highlights coverage on the NBC site. The New York Times Company unit will cross-promote with links and both will feature the “About Olympics” blog by travel writer James Martin.

Intel: On-demand high-res highlights will be available to broadband users of computers with Viiv and Centrino Duo. (Rafat and I each recently acquired Viiv-powered Media Centers so I’m sure we’ll check this out.)

Apple: Bob Costas will do a daily audio podcast with highlights and a preview of the upcoming day’s events.
More details here. We’ll be watching.