Network to offer full coverage of 2008 games

If you want Olympics, NBC Universal has got Olympics.

Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC U Sports & Olympics, said that the network and its siblings will engulf the U.S. with more than 3,600 hours of coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Calling the coverage “the most ambitious single media project in history,” NBC said the 3,600 hours represents more on-air and Internet time than “the combined total of every Summer Olympics ever televised in the United States” since the 1960 Rome Olympics.

For the first time ever, NBC will deliver “live streaming Olympic-broadband-video coverage” throughout the 17 days of the Games (Aug. 8-24).

NBC will spread the coverage among five of its wholly owned networks: NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo. NBC’s two high-definition networks, USA HD and Universal HD, will offer a full slate of high-def Olympics events.

Sports nuts with high-speed computer access will be able to call up about 2,200 hours of live streaming events.

Despite the 12-hour time difference, NBC’s primetime schedule will cover live contests in swimming, gymnastics and volleyball.

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