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NBC to help affiliates localize Torino Olympics coverage

Local NBC affiliates will have a chance to share Olympic gold with the network’s announcement of “Olympic Zone,” a 30-minute Olympic lead-in show that will air in the hour prior to NBC's prime-time coverage throughout the Torino Games.

“Olympic Zone" marries locally produced content with network-produced segments and is designed to localize and extend the Olympics.

The show will preview that night's prime-time Olympic coverage, provide richer content about the athletes and the goings on in Torino, and allow NBC stations to provide more extensive coverage of hometown athletes and storylines.

Local talent will host the pre-game shows; however, stations without the resources to produce their own content will be able to produce shows using the network segments and content provided by NBC-owned stations.

KCRA, the NBC affiliate in Sacramento, CA, produced a 30-minute Olympic access show during the Athens Games in 2004, which served as a model for the "Olympic Zone.” KCRA generated more than a 100 percent increase in audience for that time period and more than a 160 percent advertising rate increase.

The station also linked its Olympic access show to its local online extension of during the Athens Games. NBC and its affiliates hope to accomplish a similar feat with “Olympic Zone,” a partnership between NBC and affiliates to increase traffic and revenues for both entities.

"Olympic Zone" will debut on Feb. 8, 2006,two days prior to the Opening Ceremony, and air every night during the games excluding Sundays. The Torino Games run Feb. 10-26.

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