ATHENS, Greece – NBC announced a series of partnerships and new interactive services it will use to help viewers navigate its planned 1,210 hours of coverage across NBC/Universal’s various network and cable channels.
Among the partners is satellite television provider EchoStar, whose DISH network will carry an NBC Interactive TV (ITV) showcase that will feature an array of NBC/Universal broadcast assets, including 2004 Summer Olympics coverage.
The showcase was said to be the first ITV multiple picture-in-picture application in the United States. EchoStar subscribers will receive the service free with access to “dish home” ITV service.
Running Aug. 11-29, the showcase will allow viewers to monitor five NBC Universal networks on a single TV screen and select the competition or program that the viewer may want to view in normal, full-screen format.
Five of the six showcase windows will air real-time coverage from MSNBC, CNBC, USA, Bravo and Telemundo when it is being broadcast.
As many as three NBC networks will simultaneously provide Games' coverage during each Olympic broadcast day. The sixth window will show NBC Network Daily Olympic highlights and a preview of the upcoming Olympic events that will be carried by the local NBC Network affiliate.
The showcase can be accessed through "dish home" on DISH Network channel 100, or by pressing select when a showcase banner is shown on any one of the NBC channels. Additionally, viewers can tune to channel 147 which will house the NBC Daily Olympic Highlights and promotion for Olympics coverage on the local NBC affiliate.
Other partnerships for handling and cross-promoting Olympics Coverage Sept. 11-29 on NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Bravo, Telemundo and NBC local affiliate HDTV include the following:
NBCOlympics.com will carry an Interactive Viewer's Guide listing information. Tribune Media Services' Zap2it.com will enable viewers to sort Olympic listings by sport, network, day and time.
At approximately 15 minutes and 45 minutes past the hour, the NBC cable networks and Telemundo will feature a color-coded network-by-network Cross Promotion Guide (CPG) to indicate to viewers what is going on and coming up on the other networks. A special CPG team has been assembled to follow ongoing Olympic events and ensure accurate cross-promotion between the networks 24 hours a day. NBC's primetime coverage will feature regular updates regarding upcoming events.
Olympic TV listings will be carried on the TV Guide Channel, featuring a dedicated Olympic area in its on-screen program list, providing viewers with a quick, at-a-glance guide to which events are on available at various times.
The "gray bar" portion of the program listings will provide eight Olympic updates an hour, including information on the teams and individuals currently competing and up-to-the-minute schedule changes.
In addition, the TV Guide Channel will feature “What's On ... What's Next” featuring Olympic updates in TV Guide Channel's daily show. “What's Next” Olympics segments will air at :28 and :58 of each hour from 7pm-11pm (ET/PT) throughout the games.
A TV Guide Interactive Olympics icon/button will be available 24-hours a day for to click through to an NBC IPG featuring current and upcoming events on each of the NBC Olympic networks and enabling click-through to each.
The TV Guide Channel will also air various original Olympic specials introducing athletes and sharing their personal stories as they live out their dreams of being Olympians, and also highlighting when and where to watch those athletes compete.
Another partner – AT&T Wireless – will present broadcast schedules and tune-in alerts to AT&T wireless subscriber cellphones. The service has a potential reach of about 23 million. Additional content will include NBC analyst commentary, results, trivia, medal counts and post-broadcast video clips.