Canadians to experience Olympic Winter Games in HD for the first time


It’s a Canadian sports fan’s dream! CBC, in its 50th year of Olympic broadcasting, will provide more than 1,000 hours of coverage of TORINO 2006 – THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES – more than any other network in North America. CBC’s wall-to-wall coverage of TORINO 2006 – THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES, kicking off on Friday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. ET with live coverage of the Opening Ceremony, also marks the first time Canadians can experience the Games in High Definition (HD).

CBC Television will maintain the network’s golden tradition of airing most events LIVE, and, together with CBC Newsworld, Radio-Canada and CBC Country Canada, will tell all of the compelling stories of guts, glory and determination from Turin. All combined, CBC will broadcast more than 480 hours of English-language coverage of TORINO 2006 – THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES, with CBC Television providing 304 hours, CBC Newsworld airing 125 hours, CBC HD offering 39 hours and CBC Country Canada providing 20 hours of live coverage. For French viewers, Radio-Canada will broadcast 225 hours of coverage of TORINO 2006 – THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES. CBC will also produce an additional 21 hours of unique Olympics content tailored specifically for mobile phones.

Plus, as the exclusive broadcaster of TORINO 2006 – THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES, CBC will produce an additional 275 hours of Games coverage, with 125 hours airing on TSN and 150 hours airing on RDS. For all TSN broadcasts, play-by-play and analysis will be provided by CBC personalities.

“Canadians take great pride in their athletes’ success during the Olympic Winter Games and CBC is thrilled to provide viewers with every opportunity to watch them reach the podium,” said Terry Ludwick, executive producer, TORINO 2006 – THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES on CBC. “By leading all North American networks with the greatest amount of Torino Olympic coverage, CBC continues to demonstrate our commitment to these Games as well as to Beijing in 2008.”

In order to accommodate the six-hour time difference in Italy, CBC Television will begin each broadcasting day with Olympic Morning, hosted by Terry Leibel, followed by Olympic Afternoon, hosted by Ron MacLean. Together, Leibel and MacLean will provide more than nine hours of daily, live coverage.

For most viewers who can only watch the Olympic Winter Games in the evening, Brian Williams’ Olympic Prime-Time, airing nightly from 6 p.m. local / 7 p.m. AT to 11 p.m. local / 12 midnight AT, will recreate the Olympic experience and atmosphere – retaining all the excitement, suspense and drama, depicting how the action unfolded that Olympic day with athlete interviews, special features and in-studio guests.

CBC’s first Olympic Winter Games, the 1956 Cortina d’Ampezzo Games in Italy, are also known as the gateway into the modern Olympics, as they were the first to be televised. Fifty years later, CBC is providing Canadians with another first by broadcasting select events of TORINO 2006 – THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES in High Definition. CBC HD viewers will see the Games like never before, with the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Team Canada Hockey games, Short and Long Track Speed Skating, Freestyle Skiing and Figure Skating events all broadcast in HD.

CBC Newsworld will work in conjunction with CBC Television, providing 125 hours of coverage of TORINO 2006 – THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES. In addition to providing Canadians with up-to-the-minute information regarding athletic performances and achievements, CBC Newsworld will report on stories beyond the field of competition, including special interviews and features during Turin Today, a 30-minute program airing daily from Feb. 11 to 26.

CBC Country Canada will support CBC Television’s extensive coverage of TORINO 2006 – THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES as well. From Feb. 12 to 26, CBC Country Canada will air approximately 20 hours of Olympic Cross Country Skiing, covering all major races – LIVE – with encore presentations of each day’s events in prime time beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

CBC Radio One will also keep Canadians abreast of developments in Turin with OLYMPIC REPORT, a series of updates five minutes in length airing every hour throughout the day from Feb. 11 to 26. Additionally, CBC Radio’s THE CURRENT, THE INSIDE TRACK, THE WORLD THIS HOUR and THE WORLD AT SIX will provide further support with Olympic stories that follow the issues and athletes.

TORINO 2006 – THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES also marks the first time Canadians will be able to watch the Games on their mobile phones. Through an exclusive agreement between CBC/Radio-Canada and Bell Canada, Bell wireless subscribers-via the Bell Mobility Service-will be able to watch CBC’s daily Olympic English telecasts and Radio-Canada’s daily Olympic French telecasts on their mobile phones, plus an hourly highlights package specially produced for mobile.

CBC will also offer the TORINO 2006 – THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES daily broadcast package with 13 hours of English Olympic programming each day on Video On Demand (delayed 24 hours from the time of live broadcast). The Video On Demand service is available to Rogers Digital Cable subscribers and provides unlimited free access to CBC’s Olympic coverage with complete VCR functionality and digital quality picture and sound.

Olympic fans can visit 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the Games for comprehensive coverage, including breaking news, in-depth reports, live results and medal counts, team standings, sport backgrounders, athlete diaries, broadcast schedules, interactive features and more.

The XX Olympic Winter Games features 2,500 athletes from 85 nations competing for 84 medals in 15 disciplines including: Speed Skating, Figure Skating, Snowboarding, Ski Jumping, Luge, Bobsleigh, Skeleton, Hockey, Curling, Biathlon, and Cross Country, Alpine and Freestyle Skiing.

CBC/Radio-Canada is also the Canadian Olympic broadcast rights-holder for Beijing 2008 and has been involved in the Olympics since the 1956 Melbourne Games.