We're only 15 days from the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and NBC (your official provider for absolutely everything Olympic-related, or so we've been told) has just released its official 182-page media guide for anyone to enjoy. It's a huge document filled with all sorts of meticulously crafted passages, but we've extracted the really crucial parts here. (If you're still curious, here's the whole thing, in PDF form via WordPress.)
p. 5 (The "YOU HAVE NO LOGICAL REASON TO CHANGE THE CHANNEL FOR THE NEXT 17 DAYS" Factoid)
Q: What is new and different about NBC's coverage of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London?
A: NBCUniversal will provide 5,535 hours of coverage for the 2012 London Olympics across NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, NBCOlympics.com, two specialty channels, and the first-ever 3D platform, an unprecedented level that surpasses the coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics by nearly 2,000 hours. NBC will broadcast 272.5 hours of coverage, the most ever for an Olympic broadcast network, largely attributable to an increase in daytime coverage, and NBC Sports Network will serve as home to U.S. team sports with 292.5 hours of total coverage including 257.7 hours of original programming – the most-ever for an Olympic cable network.
NBCOlympics.com will live stream every event and sport for the first time ever. In all, the site will live stream more than 3,500 total programming hours, including the awarding of all 302 medals.
p. 7 (The "Reminder That We've Totally Got Way More Channels Than Just NBC" Factoid)
Bravo, NBCUniversal‘s fully distributed lifestyle cable channel, will act as the home of Olympic tennis this summer, televising 56 hours of long-form tennis coverage from July 28-August 3. The channel will televise 56 hours of long-form tennis coverage over seven days, from July 28-August 3. Live coverage will air from early morning until mid-afternoon (ET) on most days.
Pat O‘Brien, a veteran of five Olympic Games as a commentator, will serve as host. London will be O‘Brien‘s fourth Olympics for NBC and sixth overall. He last worked for NBCUniversal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, the same year Bravo last carried Olympic competition.
p. 9 (The "Why The Hell Did We Spend Over $1 Billion For This?" Factoid)
Q: Why are the Olympics so important to NBC?
A: The "Olympic Halo Effect" bolsters the entire NBCUniversal television group, including news, entertainment and late night. To deliver the same number of gross household impressions NBC delivered during the 17 days of its primetime Beijing Olympics coverage, one network would have to own the rights and broadcast the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards, the Golden Globes, the AFC Division playoffs, the NFC Championship Game and six games of the World Series all within a 17-day span.
p. 15 (The "Wow, We're Totally In England" Factoid)
In northwest London, Wembley Stadium will host the men‘s and women‘s gold medal soccer games and Wembley Arena will house badminton and rhythmic gymastics. Lord's Cricket Ground, near Regent‘s Park, has been a world-class cricket venue since the 19th century, but during the Games it will be used for archery.
pgs. 25-29 (The "Holy Shit, That's A Lot Of Goddamn Countries" Factoid)
*Please note countries listed below are subject to change.
American Samoa ASA
Antigua and Barbuda ANT
Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH
British Virgin Islands IVB
Burkina Faso BUR
Cape Verde CPV
Cayman Islands CAY
Central African Republic CAF
Cook Islands COK
Costa Rica CRC
Cote d‘Ivoire CIV
Czech Republic CZE
North Korea PRK
Democratic Republic of the Congo COD
Dominican Republic DOM
El Salvador ESA
Equatorial Guinea GEQ
Hong Kong HKG
South Korea KOR
Marshall Islands MHL
New Zealand NZL
Papua New Guinea PNG
Puerto Rico PUR
Saint Kitts and Nevis SKN
Saint Lucia LCA
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines VIN
San Marino SMR
Sao Tome and Principe STP
Saudi Arabia KSA
Sierra Leone SLE
Solomon Islands SOL
South Africa RSA
Sri Lanka SRI
Chinese Taipei TPE
Trinidad and Tobago TRI
United Arab Emirates UAE
United States of America USA
Virgin Islands ISV
p. 32 (The "We're So Much Older Than You Are" Factoid)
NBCUniversal‘s Olympic vault contains a plethora of indelible Olympic images including Beijing‘s spectacular Opening Ceremony; Michael Phelps‘ magnificent eight gold-medal performances; the feats of track & field legends Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson and Jackie-Joyner Kersee; diver Greg Louganis; the original basketball "Dream Team"; gymnast Kerri Strugg and the "Magnificent Seven"; the unlikely Greco-Roman wrestling hero Rulon Gardner; Winter Olympics gold medalists Sarah Hughes, Shaun White and Apolo Anton Ohno; and, of course, the inspirational moment when Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic cauldron in Atlanta.
p. 41 (The "Holy Crap, The Olympics Used To Be So Cheap!" Factoid)
1964 Olympic Games - Tokyo, Japan
NBC's first venture into Olympic telecasting marked the first time that the rights fee to telecast the Summer Games surpassed the $1 million barrier. NBC obtained the rights to the XVIII Olympiad for $1.5 million, but scheduled just 14 hours of coverage.
New ground, however, was broken by NBC as the network presented the first-ever live telecast of the Opening Ceremony. Additionally, when NBC Olympic anchor Jim Simpson spoke to the U.S. audience from Tokyo, he became the first TV broadcaster to report live from Japan via satellite.
Joining Simpson on the broadcasts were Bud Palmer, Murray Rose, Bill Henry and 1960 Olympic-decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson. Henry had served as the stadium announcer for the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
p. 75 (The "How You End A 1,000-Word Bob Costas Bio" Factoid)
Costas attended Syracuse University.
p. 79 (The "Suck It, ESPN" Factoid)
Beadle joined NBCUniversal in May this year from ESPN where she most recently served as cohost of the studio show SportsNation on ESPN2, appeared on 1050 ESPN New York as the New York SportsCenter anchor for ESPN Radio‘s The Michael Kay Show and co-hosted Winners Bracket for ESPN Sports Saturday on ABC.
p. 84 (The "We're Just Going to Pretend No One Remembers 'Betsy'" Factoid)
Emmy-award winning reporter and anchor Pat O‘Brien will lend his talents as a tennis host at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. O‘Brien was a host during the 2000 Olympics for CNBC's coverage of the events in Sydney, Australia, marking the first-ever complete cable coverage of an Olympic Games. O'Brien also covered the 2002 and 2004 Olympic Games for NBC and led the coverage from Salt Lake City, Utah on MSNBC in 2002 and from Athens, Greece on both NBC and MSNBC in 2004.
p. 88 (The "What The Fuck Is Ryan Seacrest Doing At The Olympics?" Factoid)
Ryan Seacrest recently entered into a groundbreaking agreement with NBCUniversal that includes on-air, broadcasting and producing duties across the NBC and E! Networks. Seacrest serves as a special correspondent for NBC News' TODAY and contributes to NBC primetime news, and produces and contributes to NBC entertainment programming. Seacrest will also contribute to NBC's primetime coverage of the Olympics, beginning with the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London.
p. 106 (The "Thank God We Got Mike Emrick To Come, Even Though There's No Ice Hockey" Factoid)
Emmy-award winning play-by-play announcer Mike "Doc" Emrick will once again join NBC for the network‘s Olympic coverage. Emrick participated in his sixth Winter Olympic Games in 2010, serving as the lead announcer for both men‘s and women‘s ice hockey in Vancouver, B.C. This will be Emrick‘s second summer assignment having served as water polo play-by-play announcer during the 2004 Athens Olympics.
p. 162 (The "What The Hell Is Craig Sager Going To Be Wearing In London?" Factoid)
Craig Sager has been the men‘s and women‘s basketball reporter for NBC‘s Olympic coverage since the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Sager previously worked for NBC as a reporter during the 1999 National League Championship Series and World Series. He also has filled in as a sideline reporter on NBC‘s coverage of Notre Dame football. For two decades Craig Sager has served as a respected courtside reporter for the NBA on TNT.
p. 177 (The "Hey, How About We Class The Joint Up A Little?" Factoid)
Jon Wertheim makes his debut as a tennis announcer with NBC Sports Group‘s broadcast team at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London.
A senior writer for Sports Illustrated, Wertheim is one of the most accomplished sports journalists in America. His work has been cited in The Best American Sports Writing anthology four times (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009) as well as The Best American Crime Writing (2009). He is the author of seven books, most recently the New York Times bestseller, Scorecasting-written with University of Chicago finance professor Tobias Moskowitz-that uses economic principles to explain sports.
Wertheim joined Sports Illustrated in 1996 and quickly became one of the magazine's most authoritative voices on tennis, the NBA, sports business and law and social issues. He has written some of the magazine's most memorable pieces. One of the chief investigative writers and reporters for Sports Illustrated, Wertheim has explored wide-ranging subject matters, from high school hazing to performance-enhancing drugs and steroids in sports. His weekly ― Tennis Mailbag - on SI.com is considered a must-read among tennis aficionados.