Olympics on TV: Big spectacle gets under way
The Summer Olympics open in London with what else? the Opening Ceremony (6:30-11 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5).
London organizers have tried to dampen expectations that they can somehow top the spectacle we saw in Beijing. We know the theme is "Isle of Wonder"; that Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire") and Stephen Daldry ("Billy Elliott") are the creative directors; and that more than a billion people are expected to tune in across the globe.
And NBC's Bob Costas will, no doubt, have a fun fact to accompany each of the more than 200 nations that are sending athletes to the Games.
Costas is nothing if not smooth, and he's got more big-time, on-air experience than any other American broadcaster working these Games. After serving as late-night host at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games, he's been the prime-time host of every Olympics since Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens, Turin, Beijing and Vancouver.
BY THE NUMBERS
Here are some figures provided by NBC about how they have these Games covered.
2 • helicopters
50 • multi-channel record and playback machines
115 • TV commentators
164 • transportation staff
175 • videotape recording machines
191 • vehicles
300 • camera positions
2,000 • pieces of furniture
2,500 • color monitors
5,535 • total hours of NBC Sports Group's coverage of London Olympics
28,080 • square feet of space at NBCs London venue compounds
30,480 • meters of fiber optic
50,000 • archived video tapes
50,612 • hotel room nights for NBC staffers
70,500 • square feet of NBC's London studios
202,594 • meals served in 44 days
562,760 • servings of hot and cold beverages
HE SAID IT
"Nobody can know these 10,000-plus athletes and these 200-plus nations up and down," Costas said. "I do not know who the top platform diver from Peru is. If, in fact, it becomes necessary to know, the researchers will let me know."
Pierce on TV
Follow Scott D. Pierce's reports on TV coverage of the Olympics at sltrib.com/blogs/tv; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.