Men's ice hockey begins play at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games tomorrow at Noon ET. It may be the last time we see the best-on-best version of the tournament, at least if noted baby Ed Snider has his way. That said, much like every other Olympic hockey tournament, you're hoping it'll be the best one you've ever seen.
Here at PDL, we'd like to help you follow the tournament, since it's a little different from the typical NHL broadcasting set up for Americans. We bring you some of the FAQ I've gotten about the Olympics on TV.
Who is televising it?
The networks of NBCUniversal are the home for the Olympic Games through the end of the current decade, which means they've got Sochi's. NBC Sports Network — cable home of the National Hockey League — will broadcast most of the games, including all of Team USA's pool play, the semifinals and Bronze Medal match.
MSNBC, which also airs some Stanley Cup Playoff games, and the USA Network will provide supplemental coverage. USA Network will be worth keeping an eye on because they'll broadcast all of Team Canada's pool play games.
Can I watch games online?
Sure you can. NBC's Olympic web site streams… well, pretty much everything except for the Opening Ceremony, and hockey will be no different.
Is it NHL on NBC talent calling all of the games?
For the most part. Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire have the call for Team USA's games and the Gold Medal Game. Dave Strader and Kenny Albert will also provide play-by-play, and Brian Engblom will also provide color commentary.
In the studio, Liam McHugh, Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick will all be contributing. NHL Network's Kathryn Tappen will serve as a supplemental host for times when there are multiple games being broadcast at once. Like tomorrow afternoon's double openers (Czech Republic-Sweden, Switzerland-Latvia) for example.
The NBC Olympic broadcasts of other sports are known to be terribly time delayed. Will all of the games be broadcast live in all time zones? Even NBC's Gold Medal Game telecast?
Yes, everything will be shown live in all time zones. NBC had one glaring problem in Vancouver, where they aired that Czech Republic-Russia game where Alex Ovechkin murdered Jaromir Jagr in cold blood tape delayed to the west coast. That won't happen this year, as everything is live.
What will broadcasts look like?
From the looks of the women's tournament, pretty good. The camera angle is a little zoomed out for my taste, but it appears to be from a solid vantage point. Pierre McGuire somehow got the IOC to let him do "inside the glass" during the Olympic tournament from a foreign venue, so expect to see that.
Is there any sort of studio recap show I should know about?
The NHL Network — long the bane of my existence — will shockingly have a presence in Sochi. NHL Tonight: Sochi Edition will be a half-hour recap show every day at 3 p.m. ET following the day's action. It'll rerun for the next five hours, so you can't miss it. Tappen will host.
Can I see a full TV schedule?
|Feb. 12||Noon ET||Czech Republic vs. Sweden||MSNBC|
|Noon ET||Latvia vs. Switzerland||USA|
|Feb. 13||3 a.m. ET||Finland vs. Austria||NBCSN|
|7:30 a.m. ET||Slovakia vs. United States||NBCSN|
|7:30 a.m. ET||Russia vs. Slovenia||MSNBC|
|Noon ET||Canada vs. Norway||USA|
|Feb. 14||3 a.m. ET||Czech Republic vs. Latvia||MSNBC|
|7:30 a.m. ET||Sweden vs. Switzerland||NBCSN|
|Noon||Canada vs. Austria||USA|
|Noon||Norway vs. Finland||MSNBC|
|Feb. 15||3 a.m. ET||Slovakia vs. Slovenia||MSNBC|
|7:30 a.m. ET||United States vs. Russia||NBCSN|
|Noon ET||Switzerland vs. Czech Republic||NBCSN|
|Noon ET||Sweden vs. Latvia||USA|
|Feb. 16||3 a.m. ET||Austria vs. Norway||USA|
|7:30 a.m. ET||Russia vs. Slovakia||USA|
|7:30 a.m. ET||Slovenia vs. United States||NBCSN|
|Noon ET||Finland vs. Canada||USA|
|Feb. 18||3 a.m. ET||Qualification #1||NBCSN|
|7:30 a.m. ET||Qualification #2||NBCSN|
|Noon ET||Qualification #3||NBCSN|
|Noon ET||Qualification #4||MSNBC|
|Feb. 19||3 a.m. ET||Quarterfinal #1||NBCSN|
|7:30 a.m. ET||Quarterfinal #2||NBCSN|
|Noon ET||Quarterfinal #3||USA|
|Noon ET||Quarterfinal #4||NBCSN|
|Feb. 21||7 a.m. ET||Semifinal #1||NBCSN|
|Noon ET||Semifinal #2||NBCSN|
|Feb. 22||10 a.m. ET||Bronze Medal Game||NBCSN|
|Feb. 23||7 a.m. ET||Gold Medal Game||NBC|
Should I call in sick?
Yes, particularly on Feb. 13, 14, 18 and 19.