Rio Olympics to fill all NBC platforms for weeks

Are you ready for some futbol?

Yes, that’s futbol. As in soccer.

Soccer will be a large part of the Rio Olympics — or the Games of the XXXI Olympiad if you want to get all Roman numeral-ish.

In fact, the soccer competition got underway Wednesday, a couple of days ahead of the official opening ceremonies, which will air at 7 p.m. Friday on NBC.

The Olympics from Rio de Janeiro will dominate all NBC platforms — network and digital — for what NBC promises will be “an unprecedented 6,755 hours of programming.”

NBCUniversal outlets include the broadcast networks NBC and Telemundo, and the cable channels Bravo, CNBC, Golf Channel, MSNBC, NBC Sports Network, NBC Universo and USA Network. There are also two specialty channels provided to cable and satellite partners, one each for basketball and soccer.

NBC proper will air 260.5 hours of the most popular sports before the closing ceremonies at 7 p.m. Aug. 21.

For the record, the complete list of 2016 summer Olympic sports: archery, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoe/kayak, cycling (track, road, mountain, BMX), diving, equestrian (dressage, jumping, eventing), fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, handball, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby 7s, sailing, shooting, soccer, swimming, synchronized swimming, table tennis, tae kwon do, tennis, track and field, triathlon, volleyball (indoor/beach), water polo, weightlifting and wrestling.

Sports fans can warm up for the inundation with an Olympics preview airing live from Rio at 7 p.m. today on NBC. The hour will feature star athletes Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Usain Bolt, and the U.S. women’s gymnastics team.

Bob Costas, who will serve as NBC’s prime-time Olympic host for a record 11th time, will head the special.

How many will tune in? NBC reports that the 2012 London Olympics was seen by 217 million Americans across all the networks of NBCUniversal, “making it the most-watched event in U.S. television history.”

NBC gets rolling Saturday at 7 a.m. and ending after midnight. Events include rowing, men’s water polo, men’s cycling, swimming, men’s and women’s beach volleyball, women’s team volleyball, and men’s gymnastics.

Fans wanting the complete schedule will find it at

Make a note: If you want to root for a Razorback, make it Cabot’s Lexi Weeks. The 19-year-old University of Arkansas at Fayetteville sophomore is set for the pole vault preliminary competition Aug. 16, and the pole vault finals Aug. 19.

After qualifying in Eugene, Ore., last month, Weeks told Arkansas Online, “I’m just so thankful that I’m able to represent Arkansas. Being from Arkansas and the university itself, it’s an incredible feeling. I feel so supported throughout this whole process.”





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