COMMENTARY BY RICHARD ZOGLIN

Is NBC To Blame For Simone Biles’s Olympic Withdrawal?

Richard Zoglin: “Is NBC to blame for Simone Biles’s Olympic withdrawal? I am overstating the case, of course. But to understand Biles’s decision to step back from much of the gymnastics competition at the Tokyo Games, it’s hard to ignore the elephant in the room: the orgy of hype, hero worship and home-team hyperventilating that has come to define NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. Somehow, sooner or later, something like this had to happen.”

Simone Biles Will Compete in Balance Beam Finals

The 24-year-old Biles will compete in Tuesday’s balance beam final. She won bronze on beam in Rio de Janeiro five years ago and qualified for the eight-woman final at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on the first weekend of the Games but removed herself from the team final on July 27 after a shaky performance on vault during the first rotation.

THE PRICE POINT

Recalling The Ghost Of Nagano

NBC’s Tokyo Olympics are shaping up to be an echo of the 1998 Nagano disaster at CBS, but aberrations aside, the Games will remain sports’ gold standard.

For NBC, The COVID Olympics Will Be A Feat Of Strange Movements And Remote Mystery

Storage spaces as broadcast booths, Orlando hotels as family-cheering sections and other oddities mark the broadcast of the 2021 improvisational Games. Above, an area of NBC Sports’ Stamford, Conn., offices where highlights will be cut during the Tokyo Olympics.

NBC Quickly Hires Maria Taylor After Her Departure From ESPN

NBC made the announcement during its primetime Olympics show Friday. Taylor had been with ESPN since 2014 but her contract expired Tuesday. Her last assignment for the network was Tuesday night at the NBA Finals, where she was the pregame and postgame host for the network’s NBA Countdown show.

NBC Doesn’t Plan On Adding Crowd Noise In Tokyo

Molly Solomon, NBC Olympics executive producer, says that the network will not add additional crowd noise to its coverage. The hope is that fans will hear the Games as they haven’t been able to before, whether it is the action in the pool during swimming or conversations between competitors and coaches during gymnastics.

NBC Olympics Using Dell Storage Systems For Olympics

NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, has selected Dell Technologies to provide high-performance storage systems for its production of the Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan, from July 23 to Aug. 8. NBC Olympics will use the Dell EMC PowerScale family of storage systems to digitally store video content captured at the Tokyo Olympics for […]

Michael Phelps Joins NBC’s Olympics Broadcast Team

Sinclair Bids For NBC Sports Networks

Sinclair Broadcast Group, already the nation’s dominant owner of regional sports networks, has made an offer to acquire NBCUniversal’s seven regional sports networks. If Sinclair succeeds in buying the RSNs, it would add dozens of popular National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball teams to its already vast collection of sports broadcast rights. The deal would also give Sinclair an 8% stake in SportsNet New York, which broadcasts Mets games.

TECH ONE-ON-ONE WITH DAVE MAZZA

NBC’s Game Plan For Tokyo Olympics: Distributed Workflows

David Mazza, SVP and CTO of NBC Sports Group and NBC Olympics, gives an exclusive look at how the network will navigate COVID restrictions while delivering 1080p HDR and 4K coverage for the first time and the pivotal role distributed workflows will play. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

Grass Valley IP Tech Powers NBC Sports Stamford HQ

NBC Sports Group features new IP production workflows, supplied by Grass Valley, at its headquarters in Stamford, Conn. The approach harnesses the power of open-architecture IP technology to unlock an unprecedented level of scalability and flexibility, delivering a ‘better than being there’ experience for viewers around the globe. Leveraging the Dynamic IP Blueprint from Grass Valley, […]

NBC Sports’ Rene Hatlelid To Be First Female Lead Producer In Race’s 105-Year History

WarnerMedia Snags Remaining NHL TV Rights As NBC Bows Out

The National Hockey League has completed its next TV rights package — and for the first time in 16 years, NBC Sports won’t be a part of it. NBC pulled out of negotiations for the partial rights for the league’s next TV deal. WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports will pick up the remainder of the package, sharing rights with ESPN for seven seasons beginning with the 2021-22 seasonth.

Tirico To Host NBC Coverage Of Tokyo Games From Outdoor Set

Mike Tirico won’t be anchoring NBC’s primetime coverage of the Tokyo Olympics from the usual confines of a studio inside the International Broadcast Center. Instead, he will have a more picturesque location. NBC announced Tuesday that Tirico will host from an outdoor location in downtown Tokyo. The set will be on a fifth-floor deck with […]

Brees Joins NBC Sports After Retiring From NFL

The quarterback great joined NBC Sports on Monday, a day after announcing his retirement from the NFL. He will serve as an analyst for Notre Dame games as well as work from the studio during Football Night in America on Sunday nights.

NBC Sports Fires NHL Analyst Mike Milbury After Quip About Women As Distractions To Players

Al Michaels Pulled From ‘Sunday Night Football’ Due To COVID Safety Protocols

Al Michaels (left) is being pulled from Sunday Night Football this weekend “in accordance with NBCUniversal COVID-19 safety protocols,” NBC Sports said on Friday. Mike Tirico will replace Michaels on the primetime play-by-play.

NFL Ratings Drop Leaves Networks Scrambling To Make Advertisers Whole

TV networks are feeling the strains of disappointing NFL ratings, as they are forced to restructure deals with advertisers to make up for the smaller audience, and their opportunity to make money off remaining games during the lucrative holiday season narrows.

Pete Bevacqua Named NBC Sports Chairman

Pete Bevacqua, who joined NBC Sports in 2018 as its first president in nearly a decade, has been elevated to the top role at the NBCUniversal-owned unit. Bevacqua, the former CEO of the Professional Golf Association, was named chairman of NBC Sports Group, filling a role that was vacated when Mark Lazarus took on a bigger role within the parent company.

NBC Sports Yanks NHL Analyst Mike Milbury After On-Air Quip About Women

NHL Sets Stanley Cup Qualifiers Schedule

The National Hockey League on Tuesday said its Stanley Cup Qualifiers games will start Aug. 1, with NBC Sports airing up to 120 hours of coverage.

Premier Lacrosse League Ready To Showcase Its Stuff On NBC

Paul Rabil is on pins and needles as the Premier Lacrosse League gets set to decide its second champion amid the coronavirus pandemic. “We’ve been pretty fortunate,” Rabil said. “Guys are excited to get out and play, not only for themselves but for their teammates and all lacrosse fans and sports fans. This year has […]

NASCAR Returns To Big Ratings On Fox

The first live sports events on network TV in more than two months delivered strong ratings Sunday. Fox’s telecast of a NASCAR race in Darlington, S.C., delivered 6.32 million viewers, a 38 percent jump over the previous race on March 8. Like other major pro sports leagues, NASCAR shut down in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. NBC also brought back live sports Sunday with a golf event, TaylorMade Driving Relief. Numbers for the four-man skins match, featuring Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff, weren’t available at publication time.

NBC Sports Announcers Take Pay Cut

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | 1080p HDR Gains Momentum For Major Sports

Costs are inhibiting a flood of 4K sports production, but 1080p HDR offers numerous practical advantages, among them that the improvement in picture quality is more readily apparent to consumers than the gain from 4K resolution. Above, Sony tested an 8K camera at the Sony Open in Hawaii last year, but doesn’t expect 8K to be used for regular sports production for several years.

Looks Like Al Michaels Won’t Be Going To ESPN

NBC Sports has declined ESPN’s initial request to engage in trade talks to acquire Al Michaels, according to sources. “We look forward to Al completing his contract and calling Sunday Night Football games on NBC,” Greg Hughes, an NBC Sports spokesman, said.

Jeremy Roenick Will Not Return To NBC Sports Following Suspension

NBC Sports Suspends Jeremy Roenick For Inappropriate Comments About Co-Workers

Molly Solomon To Lead NBC Olympics Coverage

NBC announced on Tuesday that it has promoted Solomon to executive president and producer of the network’s Olympics unit, becoming the first woman to be an executive producer for a network sports division.

NASCAR, NBC Sports Set TrackPass Streamer

The new TrackPass streaming service is part of the NBC Sports Gold service and is expected to debut in December.

Cameras, Monitors Change Triple Crown Viewing

“They put you in the best seat in the house,” said Drew Esocoff, who has directed NBC’s Triple Crown telecasts since 2011. “These cameras, whether they’re high-def or 4K, also allow for better manipulation of video: zooming in, zooming out without major degradation of the video quality. It just makes the viewing experience better and you’re also looking at it on high-def monitors. Compared to what you saw 25, 30 years ago, it’s night and day.”

NBC’s First Indy 500 Delivers 11% Increase

Sunday’s race averaged a combined 5.446 million viewers watching on NBC and online via NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. The broadcast-only average of 5.414 million viewers makes it the most-watched Indianapolis 500 in three years. NBC took over the broadcast rights this year from ABC, the network that had aired the race for 54 years.

NBC Sports Updates On-Air Look For NHL Postseason

Kentucky Derby Ties For Most Watched On NBC

Saturday’s Kentucky Derby averaged 16.5 million viewers on NBC. NBC Sports and Nielsen report that is a 10% increase over last year, when Justify’s win en route to an eventual Triple Crown averaged 15 million. The 2010 and 2017 races also averaged 16.5 million. The Derby has averaged at least 15 million for seven straight years, which is the longest streak since records were kept beginning in 1989.

Earnhardt Joins NBC Sports Coverage Of Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — NBC Sports will use retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. in its inaugural broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 next month. The second-year analyst will be part of a team that features 14 commentators and host Mike Tirico and analyst Danica Patrick. Earnhardt will be a roving reporter for his first Indianapolis 500 […]

Tirico To Do Play-By-Play From Augusta Women’s Amateur

Mike Tirico has had various broadcasting duties at the Masters for the better part of 20 years, including play-by-play host for ESPN during weekday coverage. What excites him about this year is working the weekend in a new event that gives viewers their first look at Augusta National. NBC Sports says Tirico will be the […]

Danica Patrick To Join NBC’s Indy 500 team

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Danica Patrick will join NBC Sports’ inaugural coverage of the Indianapolis 500 as an analyst alongside host Mike Tirico. Patrick retired from racing after last year’s Indianapolis 500. Her eighth appearance in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” prepped her for a return as a television personality. She told The Associated Press […]

NBC, Sky In Joint Golf Coverage At Players

NBC Sports Group and Sky Sports are set to announce on Monday that they are planning the most extensive television coverage ever of the Players Championship golf tournament, their biggest collaborative foray on sports coverage since Comcast took over Sky last fall.

NBC Sports Goes Deep To Cover NHL Sound Live And In Follow-Up Special

Bevacqua To Oversee NBC Sports Division

NBC Sports Group President Pete Bevacqua has been given oversight of the entire NBC Sports division, effective immediately. Bevacqua will have oversight, among other things, of NBC Olympics, which had been run by Jim Bell, who is now showrunner of Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. Bevacqua also gains control of production and operations.