[01/09/06 - 12:00 AM]
NbcolympicS.com Officially Launches with Comprehensive Coverage of Torino Olympics

[via press release from NBC]


More Video, Expanded Collaboration with NBC Affiliates and New Agreement with ESPN.com, Highlight Enhancements for 2006

NEW YORK -- January 9, 2006 -- NBCOlympics.com, America's online home of the Torino Games, officially launches today with complete coverage of the athletes, stories and competitions sure to captivate the attention of America during the Torino Olympic Winter Games, Feb. 10-26.

NBCOlympics.com, produced in conjunction with Internet Broadcasting, will provide live results, up-to-the-minute TV listings, breaking news, feature stories and a video intensive digital media experience never before offered by an American television network as part of its event coverage. NBCOlympics.com also will closely track the performance of hometown Olympic athletes and cover other local interest stories through 213 unique "Olympic Zones," local Torino Olympic websites produced in partnership with 213 NBC affiliates. In addition to local Olympic TV listings and programming information, the Olympic Zones will offer a multimedia experience that will include photo slideshows and video from reporters on the ground in Torino.

Through a new agreement, NBCOlympics.com will also serve as a provider of content for the millions of monthly visitors to ESPN.com. Fans logging on to ESPN.com and clicking on Olympics will have access to NBCOlympics.com's comprehensive coverage of the Torino Games. In addition, a daily two-minute NBCOlympics.com highlight package voiced by Bob Costas will appear in ESPN Motion video on ESPN.com, and include promotion of NBC's primetime coverage.

"For each of the past three Olympics, NBCOlympics.com has redefined online event coverage," said Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympics. "Through compelling video, up to-the-minute searchable schedules and listings, live results, blogs, athlete profiles, games and much more, we'll take fans closer to the athletes and games than ever before, with particular emphasis on what promises to be America's best team ever to travel to a Winter Games. And now, through our collaboration with ESPN.com, more people than ever will experience the site and connect to the Games."

Following are brief descriptions of some of the key features on NBCOlympics.com:


NBCOlympics.com will feature the runs and routines of the top five finishers, all U.S. athletes and other notables for all Olympic events comprised of runs and routines, including figure skating and skiing the day after those competitions are completed. For sports such as ice hockey and curling, which are not comprised of runs and routines, NBCOlympics.com will produce highlight packages of the action for key games. Pre-Games, NBCOlympics.com offers footage of the 2002 Salt Lake Games, interviews with more than 75 top Olympians, childhood video of select Olympians, and more. This channel on the site will also have many exclusive interviews and features


NBCOlympics.com will be the only U.S.-based website providing real-time, comprehensive results for every event in every sport. The results will be searchable by day, sport, event and athlete.


This section, traditionally one of the most trafficked portions of the site during the Games, will be even more important with the expanded Olympic coverage on the NBC Universal networks. NBCOlympics.com's TV listings reflect the most up-to-date programming information as the television schedule is modified throughout the Games. Additionally, site visitors who enter their zip code will receive localized listings that reflect the exact programming available from their local NBC affiliate, including digital affiliate channel locations for high-definition viewing or NBC Universal cable stations ? not generic listings by time zone. Viewers will be able to sort the listings by sport, network, day and time, as well as search by keywords such as athlete, team or country.


As part of its Torino Olympic online coverage, NBCOlympics.com ? in a unique partnership with NBC Affiliated Stations ? will offer extensive, localized coverage of Olympic stories about hometown heroes in the "Olympic Zone" section. Olympic Zones will include video, slideshows and other multimedia content, as well as exclusive reports from Beach Volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh. To date, 213 of the 230 NBC affiliates have elected to participate in the "Olympic Zone" project.


Site visitors can customize their Olympic experience by signing up for e-mail alerts (also available via wireless devices) to be notified when any of the 84 events are starting in Torino and/or being shown on TV. Visitors can also sign up for athlete-specific alerts, medal alerts, and/or breaking news alerts.


Fans can practice and qualify to compete in fast-paced on-line games prior to the Opening Ceremony in the Visa Championships. Then, race for prizes from February 10-26 when daily leaders in bobsled, snowboard cross, giant slalom, and the combined events are eligible to win prizes and post medals for local NBC affiliate teams. The player with the single best score in a combined event will be eligible for the Grand Prize ? a trip to the games of the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, 2010. A second lucky player from the top medal-winning NBC affiliate team will also win a trip to Vancouver.


NBCOlympics.com will leverage the NBC Universal staff on the ground in Italy to provide information for Torino Tracker ? a comprehensive blog bringing the Olympic Games to site visitors. The blog will operate around the clock and draw upon NBCOlympics.com staff in Torino, as well as NBC's Olympic commentators, producers, researchers and more, for the best news, notes, quotes, photos, videos, sightings and information from the Games.


Jacob Serino, friend/RV driver/chef/European sidekick of U.S. Salt Lake gold medalist Bode Miller, will blog for NBCOlympics.com through the Games as his friend Bode looks to capture gold in Torino. Jacob will blog and photoblog his experiences at the Olympics, updating the site several times a week leading up to the Games and daily during the Winter Games.


This interactive Flash application on the home page highlights the latest must-watch video, must-see photos and must-read stories throughout NBCOlympics.com. The "Gold Standard" will serve as a quick-and-easy way to follow the hottest stories and watch the most compelling video from Torino.


Visitors will be able to follow what may be America's best team to travel overseas for a Winter Games like never before with the Team USA Report. The section features the top news and video highlights on Team USA as well as Team USA Today (a daily breakdown of Americans competing), Team USA Olympic Survey (an exclusive survey of American Olympians and their opinions on wide-ranging topics from politics to technology), Team USA Medal Winners (a comprehensive list of victorious Americans), and the Team USA Roster (a state-by-state breakdown of the Team USA squad).


NBCOlympics.com will be the source for access to athletes and NBC Olympic commentators. At least 20 athlete and commentator mailboxes will be opened for fans to send questions. The best questions will be posed to the subjects and then answers will be posted online. NBCOlympics.com will also open an "Ask the Olympic Expert" mailbox for fans to send general Olympic questions.


NBCOlympics.com will feature approximately 500 in-depth athlete profiles on every member of Team USA and top international stars. Profiles include sections such as bio, Q&A, athlete favorites, results, video archive, photo archive and a news archive.


The NBCOlympics.com store offers fans official Team USA merchandise, as well as hats, jackets, hoodies, T-shirts, collectible pins and much more from the 2006 Torino Games.


This interactive Flash application features video, audio and photos. The section details the rules, history, fun facts and more of each of the Games' sports in a clear, concise and compelling presentation.


Visitors can sign up for RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feeds for general Olympic news and/or specific information for each of the sports contested at the Torino Games.


NBC began its online coverage of the Olympic Games in 1996 during the Atlanta Olympics. That Internet presence was dramatically increased in 2000 during NBC's Sydney Games coverage and again in Salt Lake in 2002 where the NBC web site became one of the web's most trafficked and critically acclaimed sports Internet sites. During the Athens Games, NBCOlympics.com earned critical acclaim and attracted 13.8 million unduplicated visitors, smashing the previous record for Summer Olympics Web site traffic. The 13.8 million visitors on average spent nearly 10 minutes on the site. More than seven million people turned to the NBCOlympics.com site for their television listings.


For the second time, Internet Broadcasting was selected by NBC Universal to produce NBCOlympics.com. Internet Broadcasting will have a staff of 25 dedicated to the Web site at the Games in addition to a full team of resources in Minneapolis.

About Internet Broadcasting

Internet Broadcasting is the first-ever national platform of TV station web sites. The company produces 73 sites for America's premier broadcasters: NBC, Cox Broadcasting, Hearst-Argyle, The McGraw Hill Companies, Post-Newsweek, Scripps Howard, and Capitol Broadcasting Company. With over 12 million monthly visitors, over 500 million monthly page views, and the #1 network affiliated TV station web site in each of the nation's top 10 markets, Internet Broadcasting is one of the nation's largest online news sources. The company is headquartered in Minneapolis with offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.ibsys.com.

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