By Stuart Lieberman | Feb. 02, 2017, 8:01 p.m. (ET)
Tanith White reports for NBCSN at a "Curling Night in America" taping on Dec. 3, 2015.


“Curling Night in America” returned for its third season on NBCSN earlier this month, with the network scheduled to broadcast nine two-hour shows through March. The show features the U.S. Curling Grand Prix, which uses a points system to determine the champion in each division, as well as an overall victor, and prize money is up for grabs.

Upcoming telecasts on NBCSN are as follows:

  • Friday, Feb. 3, 10-p.m.-midnight ET
  • Friday, Feb. 10, 11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. ET
  • Friday, Feb. 17, 10 p.m.-midnight ET
  • Friday, Feb. 24, 8-10 p.m. ET
  • Thursday, March 2, 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET 
  • Saturday, March 11, 7-9 p.m. ET 
  • Friday, March 17, 7-9 p.m. ET

This is the second year that Tanith White, a 2006 Olympic silver medalist in ice dance, is covering the competition for NBCSN, and she was in Duluth, Minnesota, for the show’s taping in December.

Here are White’s five reasons you should tune-in to watch the show.

1. To catch a glimpse of the athletes you might see competing at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games 

White said: “The best reason to tune in is to watch and appreciate what these athletes are doing leading up to that moment in the spotlight. Join them in their journeys now, because it will only add to your enjoyment of watching them in their greatest moments in PyeongChang.

“Get to know them. Get to know their stories. Because that’s really what wraps us up in the Olympic Games as viewers time after time. You get to see these stories of these people who between every Olympics are just ordinary people, and then they’re put on this stage, and they get to be extraordinary and be heroes for their country in these moments.”

2. It provides variety to your normal TV habits

You won’t find anything like curling on Netflix. 

It’s one of the most unique sports in the Olympic movement, and is intriguing to watch because of the incredible strategy involved, White said.

Erika Brown competes in the round-robin match against Switzerland during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Ice Cube Curling Center on Feb. 10, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

“Although it might not have the same excitement as a more high-risk or high-impact sport, you can still really get invested in the tension of a great moment or a great throw, knowing the stakes are so high for such a delicate balance of strategy and skill,” White said.

In addition, the amount of camaraderie curlers exhibit is tremendous and unmatchable in the sports world, she said. No athlete is boastful when he or she makes a great shot, and no athlete acts inappropriately when a shot doesn’t go his or her way. It’s the perfect sport to showcase the Olympic ideals and values.

“It’s all about making it an enjoyable experience, even for your competitor in a match,” White said. “Everyone’s just there to make the most of their time and their experience, and everyone’s very supportive.”


3. The understated physicality of the sport will certainly surprise you 

When White tried curling for herself in Duluth, she said she “failed miserably” and that the physical demands of the sport greatly surprised her. “It takes a lot more strength and physicality than you’re led to believe,” White said. “I couldn’t even begin to develop any of the necessary skills in the hour that I was practicing. It is really, really tough on the body. The flexibility, the balance, and the coordination necessary not only to make a shot, but just to slide successfully, is really challenging.”


4. You get an insider’s view
 

“Curling Night in America” takes the audience as close to the ice as possible by putting microphones on the athletes. White insists viewers at home hear as much as coaches next to the ice, having the opportunity to listen-in to the teams strategizing and communicating their next shots, and then getting to see it all unfold from start to finish on the ice. That’s not something you get to experience very often as a TV sports viewer.


5. It’s an inclusive program for all ages 

The show is accessible to all types of people from all walks of life, and according to White, “It’s the kind of thing that you can sit down and watch at all ages.” Whether you’re a die-hard sports nut or someone who rarely watches sports, the program is easy to follow for the casual viewer. It’s also a great way for families to spend the night together on the couch. And perhaps after watching, you’ll seek out the nearest curling club in your community and get involved in the sport, too.

Stuart Lieberman covered Paralympic sports for three years at the International Paralympic Committee, including at the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.