by Ralph Routon
If you were assuming, and rightly so, that having the Olympics just one time zone away in Vancouver would mean live TV coverage for certain, think again.
NBC's coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics will be delayed an hour for Colorado Springs and the Mountain Time Zone. That's confirmed by Ron Eccher, program director at KOAA News First 5, the NBC affiliate for southern Colorado.
It'll be shown live in the Eastern and Central time zones, starting with the opening ceremonies Friday night. But instead of televising that live signal, NBC stations in the Mountain time zone will have to wait. And that's not to coincide with the Pacific zone, either.
This is the really strange part: NBC's Olympic coverage in the Pacific zone south of Vancouver will be shown three hours late, so it can begin at the usual start of nightly prime-time network programming.
For Colorado Springs, this means you'll see the tape-delayed opening ceremonies starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, an hour after the event begins, and most other nightly coverage will begin at 7 p.m.
Wait, that's not all. Adding to the confusion, cable coverage on MSNBC and USA will include many U.S. men's and women's hockey games to be shown live during the pool play round. But when the medal round comes, if NBC carries those games instead, they'll likely be delayed.
You'd think that NBC might make an exception for the market that includes the headquarters for the U.S. Olympic Committee. But that won't happen. So the athletes back home at the Olympic Training Center can't even watch the Winter Games live ... on this same continent.