Digital World Puts Olympic Coverage Through Its Paces

NBCUniversal has made a deal with Facebook to provide more than 1,000 hours of digital coverage of the upcoming Winter Olympic games.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's turn now to another network. NBC, it's gearing up for one of TV's flagship events: The broadcast of the Winter Olympics.

(SOUNDBITE OF A NEWSCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It'll be an exciting night at Central Arena in Sarajevo. We're going to see the finals of pair's figure skating...

MONTAGNE: Of course, the kind of carefully produced primetime specials of the games that work nicely in 1984 are woefully behind the times. Now people want to watch high-profile events live - no matter the time of day, no matter where they are.

Brian Steinberg a Variety.

BRIAN STEINBERG: These days there's so much available so quickly, even the Olympics has to work a little harder to get everyone's attention. Mobile viewing, tablets, video streaming, these have become mainstream behaviors that cannot be ignored.

MONTAGNE: There is no ignoring going on over at NBC. The network has planned a thousand hours of digital coverage of the games in Sochi. It will stream all competitions and debut video coverage on Facebook.

STEINBERG: They want to maximize their result. They want to make sure people are watching. And I think that Facebook is a way of kind of generating chatter: did you see this; hey, look at this - (unintelligible) passed along.

MONTAGNE: All of the broadcast on television and on the Web add to some 1500 hours of Olympic coverage. That's good news for fans of lower profile sports that got limited broadcast-time in years past. So, all of you friends of curling, get excited.

And you're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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