Got your ticket to Sochi? Yeah, we don’t either. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we have been watching the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics from home.
From a network’s perspective, the difference between the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics is technological advancement, such as the iPad. Luckily, NBC has developed an extensive digital plan for this year’s game. NBC’s goal to push programming through all forms of distribution and technology will provide viewers at home many different ways to consume the event.
First and foremost, there is Twitter. Users will be able to interact with others around the world, and follow the games through @NBCOlympics, @Olympics, @Sochi2014, and other official Twitter pages for the Sochi Olympics.
Similar to what NBC did with the London Olympics, NBC will live-stream every event at Sochi online, except for the opening ceremony. Now, this is where things start to get interesting. Along with 1000+ hours of live online streaming, NBC has created the Gold Zone, the Olympic news desk, “Olympic Ice,” and a couple of apps.
The Gold Zone is a channel that will offer viewers live look-ins at events as they are unfolding. This channel is structured similar to the NFL’s Red Zone channel, which provides live look-ins for NFL games. The Gold Zone, hosted by DirecTV’s Andrew Siciliano, will air every day during the Olympics, starting from 7 to 8 a.m. ET until 3 p.m. ET.
“We think the Gold Zone is simply another way in which the Olympics can be consumed,” said NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel. “For those who want a more lean-back experience and allow us to take you and walk you through what is cresting at that moment in Sochi is what [the Gold Zone] is all about.”
The Olympic news desk is also a new digital development by NBC. This will be an online show with periodic updates of what is happening in Sochi.
In addition, NBC will be producing a 30-minute digital show called “Olympic Ice.” The show, hosted by Russ Thaler and figure skater Sarah Hughes, will run at 5:30 p.m. ET on days with figure skating competitions.
Finally, NBC has created two new apps for the Sochi Games. The first is NBC Sports Live Extra, which will provide users access to more than 1,500 events. NBC has also created an app that shows highlights and results at Sochi.
Now that we know all about the different ways to watch and keep up with the Games this year, what are we going to watch? Well obviously, let’s all cheer for Team USA.
You can always look at NBC’s compilation of the storylines for the different players in the different events, and pick your own player or event to follow.
Personally, I think Slope Style, one of the new events, thus far has been among the most interesting events to watch. Performing difficult tricks at the highest altitude, what could go wrong?
Now, who’s excited?