Jul 17 NBC ANNOUNCES TALENT ROSTER FOR BEIJING OLYMPIC GAMES - 106 COMMENTATORS IN ALL

July 17, 2008, 10:32 a.m. (ET)
  • Costas Returns for 8th Olympic Games, 7th as Primetime Host
  • NBC Talent Roster Has Won 42 Olympic Medals Including 25 Gold Medals
  • Collinsworth, Carillo, Roberts Olympic Correspondents

NEW YORK - July 16, 2008 - A record 106 NBC Olympic commentators will broadcast an unprecedented 3,600 hours of Beijing Olympic Games coverage, the most ambitious single media project in history. NBCU's Olympic Games coverage features the most live coverage in the United States (nearly 2,900 live hours in total), across the most platforms, of any Olympic Games in history when the Games of the XXIX Olympiad commence on Aug. 8. The lineup, led by the 19-time Emmy Award-winner, Bob Costas, returning for his seventh Olympic Games as primetime host, was announced today by Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics and Executive Producer of NBCU's Olympic coverage and returns virtually every one of the network's signature Olympic Games hosts, play-by-play announcers and analysts.

"My first Olympics in Mexico City in 1968 were the first Olympics live in primetime and we had maybe two dozen commentators," said Ebersol.

"To have a roster of 106 commentators broadcasting 3,600 total hours is simply astounding. It's a tribute to David Neal and Molly Solomon that we're able to put together such a talented and versatile roster, with a great mix of Olympic veterans and newcomers, particularly considering many of these sports are rarely televised."

NBC Universal's roster of Olympic commentators:

  • Roster includes 28 Olympians who won a combined total of 42 Olympic medals (25 Gold, 5 Silver and 12 Bronze). "Team NBC" would have finished sixth at the Athens Olympic Games with 42 total medals behind Australia and Germany with 49 and ahead of Japan who amassed 37.
  • Ranges from Jim Lampley - who is working his record 14th Olympic Games - to Olympic gold medal wrestling legend Rulon Gardner making his Olympic Games announcing debut.
  • Cris Collinsworth, who will serve as an Olympic correspondent, makes his second Olympic Games appearance for NBC and his first since 1996.
  • Mary Carillo pulls double duty as NBC's late night host and Olympic correspondent, her ninth Olympic Games and sixth with NBC.
  • Bela Karolyi, arguably the most successful coach in the history of his sport, one of its most recognized personalities and who has coached and trained world-renowned gymnasts for the past eight Olympic Games, makes his broadcast debut.

Here is a rundown of NBC's Olympic talent:

HOSTS:

  • The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will be Bob Costas' eighth for NBC Sports and his seventh as primetime host. After serving as late night host in 1988 from Seoul, Costas has won acclaim and Emmy Awards each year for his work as primetime host from Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Salt Lake City and Athens. Costas, who has the longest tenure of the network's sports announcers, joined NBC in 1980. He has handled a wide array of assignments, including play by-play, studio hosting and reporting.
  • Jim Lampley, America's most experienced Olympic Games broadcaster, will work his record 14th Olympic Games in Beijing. Lampley possesses the record for the most-ever Olympic broadcast assignments for any television commentator. He will anchor NBC's afternoon Olympic telecasts in his seventh Olympic Games with NBC.
  • Mary Carillo will host NBC's late night coverage. Carillo will also serve as an Olympic correspondent in her ninth Olympic Games and sixth for NBC. 
  • Alex Flanagan makes her Olympic Games debut as host of CNBC and USA Network's coverage. 
  • Matt Vasgersian, who made his Olympic Games debut as the play-by-play announcer for both softball and baseball during NBC's broadcast of the Athens 2004 Games, will serve as host of USA Network's coverage. In 2006 in Torino, he served as the ski jumping play-by-play commentator.
  • Melissa Stark will work her third Olympic Games for NBC serving as an anchor for MSNBC's coverage. Previously, Stark served as the speed skating reporter during NBC's coverage of the 2006 Torino Games and the swimming and diving reporter at the Athens 2004 Games.
  • Bill Patrick will serve as the host of MSNBC's coverage of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, making his debut as a full-time Olympic host.
  • Fred Roggin, the sports director at KNBC-TV, NBC's owned-and-operated station in Los Angeles, will work his fifth Olympic Games for NBC as host of CNBC's Boxing in Beijing. Roggin's previous Olympic assignments have included hosting CNBC and MSNBC's curling coverage from the 2006 Torino Games, CNBC's coverage from the Athens Games, serving on the "Special Features Unit" at the Salt Lake Games in 2002 and working as the boxing reporter at the 2000 Sydney Games. 
  • Lindsay Czarniak will make her second Olympic Games appearance and her first as host of Oxygen's coverage and as a Sports Desk reporter for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She made her Olympic Games debut as a Sports Desk reporter during NBC's coverage of the 2006 Torino Games.

OLYMPIC CORRESPONDENTS:

  • Cris Collinsworth: The most honored studio analyst in sports television, Collinsworth, who is a co-host with Costas on NBC's "Football Night in America" will serve as an Olympic correspondent, providing on the scene reports throughout Beijing. This will be his second Olympic assignment having reported from the track & field venue in Atlanta in 1996. 
  • Mary Carillo: In addition to her role as host of NBC's late night coverage, Carillo will serve as an Olympic correspondent and provide a look into life in China through a collection of features done in her own inimitable style.
  • Jimmy Roberts, a 13-time Emmy Award winner, will contribute feature stories and essays and serve as an Olympic correspondent during NBC's coverage of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

SPORT BY SPORT:

NBC's signature announce teams return in gymnastics, swimming and track and field. Following is a partial rundown, sport-by-sport. A complete roster is attached.

  • GYMNASTICS: Play-by-play commentator Al Trautwig is once again joined by Olympic gold medalist Tim Daggett and Elfi Schlegel, who have provided analysis on NBC's Olympic Games gymnastics coverage since the 1992 Barcelona Games and veteran Olympic reporter Andrea Joyce. This Olympic Games will also mark the broadcast debut of Bela Karolyi, arguably the most successful coach in the history of his sport and one of its most recognized personalities who has coached and trained world-renowned gymnasts for the past eight Olympic Games. He will serve as a gymnastics studio analyst.
  • SWIMMING: Dan Hicks has the call alongside analyst Rowdy Gaines - working their fourth Olympic Games together - with Andrea Kremer reporting in her Olympic Games debut. Gaines, who won three gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, is working his fifth Olympic Games for NBC. 
  • TRACK & FIELD: Tom Hammond, who has won acclaim for his memorable calls at the last four Summer Games, will once again call track & field. Dwight Stones, Carol Lewis and Lewis Johnson return as analysts. New analysts include Ato Boldon and Ed Eyestone. Bob Neumeier returns for his second Olympic Games as a reporter and Craig Masback, who worked as a track & field commentator for NBC in Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996, returns to provide analysis on the men's marathon.
  • DIVING: Ted Robinson, working his fifth Olympic Games, debuted as the diving play-by-play commentator for the Athens 2004 Games. Cynthia Potter, who made three Olympic teams and won bronze in 1976, returns as analyst, a role she's handled for NBC since the 1992 Games. Reporters for the diving venue are Neumeier and Kremer.
  • BASKETBALL: Mike Breen, working his fifth Olympic Games, will handle the play-by-play of both the men's and women's competitions, alongside two respected analysts: Doug Collins (men's) and Ann Meyers (women's). Collins, a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team, takes on his third Olympic broadcasting assignment. Meyers, who won silver as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team for Basketball in 1976, is working her fourth Olympic Games as a broadcaster. Craig Sager returns as reporter for both men's and women's hoops. Other basketball commentators include Chris Carrino (play-by-play), Mike Crispino (play-by-play) and analysts Steve "Snapper" Jones, Bob Salmi and Teresa Edwards.
  • BOXING: Bob Papa and analyst Teddy Atlas will call boxing. Athens is Papa's seventh Olympic Games, as he previously called the boxing play-by-play in Barcelona in 1992 and Athens in 2004. Atlas analyzed the boxing competition from Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004. Jim Gray, reporter, returns for his first Olympic Games for NBC since 2000 where he served as a reporter for swimming and track & field for the Sydney Games. In 1996 he received critical acclaim for his reporting from the scene of the Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
  • SOCCER: Veteran soccer play-by-play commentator JP Dellacamera calls his second Olympic Games, working alongside analysts Marcelo Balboa, who made his debut as a soccer analyst at the Athens 2004 Games and first time Olympic Games analyst Brandi Chastain. Balboa, a longtime star in Major League Soccer, was the first American to play in three World Cups. With the Women's National Team, Chastain has played in three Olympic Games (Athens, Sydney and Atlanta) and three Women's World Cups (1991, 1999 and 2003).
  • BEACH VOLLEYBALL: NBC's beach volleyball coverage will once again include analyst Karch Kiraly, the most accomplished player in the history of the sport and the only man to win Olympic Games gold for volleyball both indoors and on the beach. Kiraly made his Olympic broadcasting debut in Athens in 2004. Entertaining play-by-play announcer Chris Marlowe, who won a gold medal as captain of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team for Volleyball, returns for his fifth Olympic Games as an NBC commentator. Heather Cox returns for her second Olympic Games as a reporter.
  • VOLLEYBALL: Paul Sunderland, a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. volleyball team at the 1984 Olympic Games, returns to call indoor volleyball, an assignment he had for NBC in Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney. He is joined by two-time Olympian Kevin Barnett, who is making his debut as an Olympic analyst.
  • WATER POLO: Bob Fitzgerald makes his Olympic Games debut for NBC as the Water Polo play-by-play announcer. His previous Olympic Games broadcast assignments included commentating for basketball at the Athens 2004 Olympics and swimming at the Atlanta Games in 1996. He is joined by Wolf Wigo, a three-time Olympian and former captain of the USA Water Polo Men's National Team.
  • WRESTLING: Veteran commentator Matt Devlin returns for his second Olympic assignment and first calling wrestling. He is joined by Olympic gold medalist and American wrestling legend Rulon Gardner, who is making his Olympic broadcasting debut. In 2000 at the Sydney Olympics, Gardner won the gold after defeating Aleksander Karelin. Karelin had been undefeated for 13 years and had not given up a point in six years prior to his loss in the gold-medal match to Gardner. At the end of the 2000 Olympic Games, Gardner was selected to serve as the U.S. flag bearer at the Closing Ceremony. He then followed with a bronze in 2004 at the Olympic Games in Athens, where he left his shoes on the mat, the sport's traditional symbol of retirement. Gardner is also renowned for surviving several near-death experiences.

The 3,600 total hours of coverage on seven NBC Universal networks: NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC, Oxygen, Telemundo and Universal HD, as well as NBCOlympics.com, is 1,000 hours more than the combined coverage for every televised Summer Olympics in U.S. history (Rome 1960 - Athens 2004, 2,562 hours). NBCOlympics.com will feature approximately 2,200 total hours of live streaming Olympic broadband video coverage, the first live online Olympic coverage in the United States.

SPORT-BY-SPORT RUNDOWN:

GYMNASTICS:
Al Trautwig, Play-by-play
Elfi Schlegel, Analyst
Tim Daggett, Analyst
Andrea Joyce, Reporter

TRAMPOLINE GYMNASTICS:
Al Trautwig, Play-by-play
Elfi Schlegel, Analyst
Tim Daggett, Analyst

RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS:
Andrea Joyce, Play-by-play
Elfi Schlegel, Analyst

TRACK & FIELD:
Tom Hammond, Play-by-play
Lewis Johnson , Analyst
Carol Lewis, Analyst
Dwight Stones, Analyst
Ato Boldin, Analyst
Craig Masback, Analyst
Ed Eyestone, Analyst
Bob Neumeier, Reporter

RACE WALKING:
Ron Vaccaro, Play-by-play
Ed Eyestone, Analyst
Carol Lewis, Analyst

SWIMMING:
Dan Hicks, Play-by-play
Rowdy Gaines, Analyst
Andera Kremer, Reporter

OPEN WATER SWIMMING:
Craig Hummer, Play-by-play
Rowdy Gaines, Analyst

DIVING:
Ted Robinson, Play-by-play
Cynthia Potter, Analyst
Bob Neumeier, Reporter
Andrea Kremer, Reporter

BEACH VOLLEYBALL:
Chris Marlowe, Play-by-play
Karch Kiraly, Analyst
Heather Cox, Reporter

INDOOR VOLLEYBALL:
Paul Sunderland, Play-by-play
Kevin Barnett, Analyst

CYCLING (Road/BMX/Mountain Bike):
Pat Parnell, Play-by-play
Craig Hummer, Play-by-play
Kenan Harkin, Analyst
Paul Sherwin, Analyst
Marty Snider, Reporter

TRIATHLON:
Craig Hummer, Play-by-play
Siri Lindley, Analyst
Marty Snider, Reporter

BASKETBALL:
Mike Breen, Play-by-play
Chris Carrino, Play-by-play
Mike Crispino, Play-by-play
Pete Pranica, Play-by-play
Eric Collins, Play-by-play
Teresa Edwards, Analyst
Doug Collins, Analyst
Ann Meyers, Analyst
Bob Salmi, Analyst
Craig Sager, Reporter

ROWING:
Tim Ryan, Play-by-play
Yaz Farooq, Analyst

CANOEING (Flat Water):
Tim Ryan, Play-by-play
Joe Jacobi, Analyst

CANOEING (White Water):
Craig Hummer, Play-by-play
Pat Parnell, Play-by-play
Joe Jacobi, Analyst

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING:
Craig Hummer, Play-by-play
Heather Olson, Analyst

WRESTLING:
Matt Devlin, Play-by-play
Rulon Gardner, Analyst

WATER POLO:
Bob Fitzgerald, Play-by-play
Wolf Wigo, Analyst

BOXING:
Bob Papa, Play-by-play
Teddy Atlas, Analyst
Jim Gray, Reporter

MODERN PENTATHLON:
Ron Vaccaro, Play-by-play
Rob Stull, Analyst

WEIGHTLIFTING:
Pete Pranica, Play-by-play
Shane Hamman, Analyst

EQUESTRIAN:
Kenny Rice, Play-by-play
Melanie Smith-Taylor, Analyst

SOFTBALL:
Joe Castellano, Play-by-play
Michele Smith, Analyst

SOCCER:
JP Dellacamera, Play-by-play
Glenn Davis, Play-by-play
Adrian Healey, Play-by-play
Steve Cangialosi, Play-by-play
Marcelo Balboa, Analyst
Brandi Chastain, Analyst
Shep Messing, Analyst
Lori Walker, Analyst

TENNIS:
Barry MacKay, Play-by-play
Jimmy Arias, Analyst

BASEBALL:
Eric Collins, Play-by-play
Joe Magrane, Analyst

HANDBALL:
Andrew Catalon, Play-by-play
Dawn Lewis, Analyst

TABLE TENNIS:
Bill Clement, Play-by-play
Sean O'Neill, Analyst

BADMINTON:
Jim Kozimor, Play-by-play
Steve Kearney, Analyst
Bill Clement, Analyst

FENCING:
Joe Castellano, Play-by-play
Pete Pranica, Play-by-play
Andrew Catalon, Play-by-play
Mika'il Sankofa, Analyst

ARCHERY:
Joe Castellano, Play-by-play
Denise Parker, Analyst

SHOOTING:
Bill Clement, Play-by-play
Shari LeGate, Analyst

FIELD HOCKEY:
Mike Corey, Play-by-play
Nick Conway, Analyst

SPORTSDESK REPORTERS:
Lester Holt
Peter Alexander
Eyee Hsu
Julie Foudy
Lindsay Czarniak
Alan Abrahamson
Lindsay Soto
Nancy Snyderman

NBCSPORTS.COM:
Julia Mancuso

TELEMUNDO:
Andres Cantor, Host
Jessi Losada, Host
Monica Noguera, Host

Members of the media can get more information about NBC Universal and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site at www.nbcumv.com.

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