tampabay.com

The Olympics on TV

By SHARON GINN
Published February 10, 2006


Bob Costas returns for his sixth stint as prime time Olympics host for NBC's coverage of the Turin - well, make that Torino - Winter Games. The network has decided that Turin doesn't sound as nice as what the Italians call it, so Torino it will be. Once again, Jim Lampley will host the daytime and late night segments, and Bill Macatee will serve as studio host on the USA Network.

NBC BY THE NUMBERS

10 - Olympic Games broadcast on NBC, tying ABC for most broadcasts by a U.S. network.

13 - Jim Lampley's Olympic broadcast assignments, enough to surpass ABC's legendary Jim McKay with the most Olympic assignments for any television commentator.

19 - Olympic medals won by NBC commentators (11 gold, 3 silver, 5 bronze).

375.5 - Total hours of Olympics coverage in Salt Lake City.

416 - Total hours of Olympics coverage planned for Turin.

545 million - Dollars paid by NBC for broadcast rights to the Salt Lake Games.

613 million - Dollars paid by NBC for rights to the Turin Games.

CLEARER THAN EVER: In the Tampa Bay area, these will be the first Olympic broadcasts available to cable subscribers in high definition. For the 2004 Athens Games, WFLA-Ch. 8's HD channel was not available to local Bright House customers. All broadcasts aired on NBC will be simulcasts, produced in both the wide-screen HD format and on standard definition.

BEHIND THE AXELS: Critically acclaimed reporter and analyst Mary Carillo will host a new nightly hourlong show about figure skating, "Olympic Ice," to be aired at 6 p.m. on the USA Network from Feb. 10 to Feb. 24. Who better than the smart, witty Carillo to direct coverage of the Olympics' most intriguing and often controversial sport? Olympic gold medalists Dick Button and Scott Hamilton will alternate as Carillo's cohosts.

NEW FACES: Among NBC's new hires for this Olympics is Julie Foudy, former captain of the U.S. women's soccer team, who will join the network's sports desk. Hockey pioneer Cammi Granato will serve as the women's hockey studio analyst, and the Canadian figure skating 2002 gold-medal pair of David Pelletier and Jamie Sale will join Carillo as analysts for "Olympic Ice." NBC NHL analyst Brian Hayward and former pro snowboarder Tina Dixon, familiar to X Games fans, also make their Olympic broadcast debuts.

BACK FOR MORE: Palm Harbor's own Don Chevrier, who likes to call himself "Florida's only curling announcer," returns to NBC to do curling play-by-play. At the Salt Lake Games, Chevrier and analyst Don Duguid proved so entertaining and insightful that curling became somewhat of a cult hit for CNBC and MSNBC. Their partnership dates to 1972, when they began hosting a Saturday afternoon curling series in Canada.