Peacock entering winter ‘Olympic Zone’

Show to be produced for local markets by affils

NBC and its local affiliates are planning a half-hour show, “The Olympic Zone,” to air after the evening news but before primetime during the Winter Games.

Show, described as a magazine show combined with highlights, will be produced for local markets by the affiliates and air at 7:30 on 15 nights during the games.

Terry Macklin, chairman of the NBC Affiliate Board, described an amicable meeting between NBC affils and the network in New York, where new business ventures and the net’s lagging primetime performance were discussed.

“We have had some ratings erosion, but the news lead-in is still the No. 1 lead-in,” Macklin said, adding that affiliates were “interested” in new programming ideas presented by NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly.

NBC and its affiliates touted their all-digital weather network, NBC Weather Plus, which achieved distribution in 67% of U.S. households since it launched in November.

Fifty affiliates have signed on for the over-the-air channel so far. NBC execs said planning is under way to extend the brand to a Web site, Weatherplus.com, and a wireless service.

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