Go Canada, go!

NBC Plans Wall-To-Wall 2004 Olympics Coverage
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – NBC plans 24-hour a day coverage of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens spread across five networks as it tries to avoid the ratings disasters of past coverage of the world’s most celebrated athletic event.
The network said in a statement on Wednesday that it plans to offer a total of 806.5 hours across NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo and Telemundo for the 2004 Games in Athens, nearly double its cover from the 2000 Sydney Games and more than four times what it offered for the 1996 Olympics from Atlanta.
The network did not own Bravo or Telemundo at the time of either of those events.
NBC said its 2004 programming would mark the first time that at least some coverage of every one of the 28 sports played at the Olympics would be televised. The network said Telemundo’s coverage would mark the first exclusively non-English broadcast of the games in U.S. history.
Despite a time difference between Athens and the eastern time zone of the United States of seven hours, the network also indicated it plans to offer some live programming.
NBC’s coverage of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City generated profits of about $75 million, the network said late last year, not counting receipts from MSNBC and CNBC, both of which saw sharp ratings increases over their normal programming when they carried Olympic events.
But the 2000 games told a different story. Through the closing ceremonies, NBC posted an average U.S. household rating of 13.8, according to Nielsen Media Research, compared with the 16.1 rating it had promised advertisers. Each point represented 1.02 million U.S. homes with TV sets.
That was the lowest ratings for the Olympics in 32 years and prompted the network to offer advertisers “make-goods,” or free air time, of about one minute per hour every night of the games starting with Day Six.
That amounted to 72 thirty-second spots a night in the prime hours of 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. for 12 nights.
An NBC spokesman said the network was not discussing its 2004 plans beyond the details in its statement Wednesday.
For 2004, the network’s coverage will begin at 2 a.m. EDT on MSNBC and run until 4 p.m. NBC will also come in from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bravo will take up coverage from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., with CNBC adding cover from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. NBC will jump back in from 8 p.m. to midnight and then again from 12:35 a.m. to 2 a.m. Bravo will provide midnight to 6 a.m. replays.
Telemundo’s Spanish-language programming will run from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., NBC said.
NBC and its sister networks are units of General Electric Co.