Comcast/NBC will remain the U.S. Olympic network in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020. But for now, it's time to focus on 2012.
The London Olympics, which begin July 27 next year, were the final Games of the auction package awarded to NBC in 2003. The network bid blindly for 2012 eight years ago, as several cities were in the running to host those Games, including New York. Comcast/NBC faces a similar situation now with the to-be-determined sites for 2018 and 2020.
With the Games in hand for the next decade, new NBC Sports chief Mark Lazarus said his group would return to preparing for London on Wednesday.
"I think we will likely bring some more streaming to the marketplace in real time, but those plans have been thought through," Lazarus said of 2012. "And frankly in the last 15 or so days since we've been putting this together [the 2014-2020 presentation] we've been focused on this bid."
Lazarus said every event will be live "on one platform or another" with NBC's new rights package. What remains to be seen is which events will be live in 2012, outside of the prime-time TV package of taped events.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics featured morning finals in swimming and gymnastics that accommodated live TV broadcasts. NBC also carried 2010 Olympic events such as figure skating live in prime time (though not on the West Coast), but its live web streaming was limited to hockey and curling.
If Americans wanted to know Lindsey Vonn or Bode Miller's afternoon skiing results in real time, they likely turned to Twitter. Such may be the case again in London, which is five hours ahead of New York.
All of Michael Phelps' potential swimming finals will be between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET. Likewise, the men's 100 and 200 meters won't be run before 5 p.m. ET. Major gymnastics finals begin at 11:30 a.m. ET, and a wake-up call may be needed to follow beach volleyball, which is scheduled for both morning and night.
On Saturday, three men bested Usain Bolt's early-season times, and the Jamaican sprint superstar apparently took notice from afar.
Another Jamaican, Steve Mullings, won the 100 meters at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., in 9.80 seconds. American Michael Rodgers was second in 9.85. Earlier in the day, Tyson Gay ran 9.79 in Florida. Bolt has clocked 9.91 in both of his races so far.
An hour after the Prefontaine 100, this tweet appeared on Bolt's account:
"Listen to me ppl that's the same track last US trial was kept and everybody ran fast and them they couldn't repeat ok so please," it read, either referring to the 2008 Olympic trials or the 2009 nationals, also held at Hayward Field in Eugene.
Bolt certainly has an argument. He defeated Mullings in the Czech Republic four days before Mullings' 9.80 in Oregon. Bolt can make his case on the track in Oslo, Norway, on Thursday, when he runs his first 200 meters of the season.
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh received a rude welcome back to the site of their 2008 Olympic triumph, losing their first match at the FIVB Tour event at Beijing's Chaoyang Park.
Americans Angela Akers and Nicole Branagh pulled off the upset 21-19, 17-21, 15-13, but May-Treanor and Walsh bounced back to sweep a Mexican team later Wednesday. May-Treanor had missed the last month due to a knee injury suffered at a previous tournament in China. She and Walsh, a dominant world No. 1 between 2004 and 2008, were seeded fifth this week and were collectively behind Akers and Branagh in the first-ever points system composed by USA Volleyball last week to rank domestic teams. The standings may very well factor into the 2012 Olympic selection process, which has not been finalized.
The International Ski Federation announced 2011-12 World Cup ski and snowboard events in Colorado, Utah and New York.
The Alpine World Cup heads to Aspen, Colo., for women's giant slalom and slalom events Nov. 26-27. The following weekend the men are slated for downhill, super-G and giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., a joint host for the 2015 world championships.
The snowboard World Cup stops in Telluride, Colo., for the third straight year Dec. 14-17 with parallel giant slalom, snowboardcross and the recently added team snowboardcross events.
Freestyle skiing heads to Lake Placid, N.Y., in January and Deer Valley, Utah, in February. The entire World Cup ski schedule can be found on the International Ski Federation's website.