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NBC, Affils Team on Olympic Mags

NBC stations will produce nightly local magazine shows during the 2006 Winter Turino (Italy) Olympics to highlight local athletes and interests.

The Olympic Zone will feature local on-air talent and be produced at each station, with NBC contributing reports and packages, as well as advise on production.

The new program is one idea to come out of NBC's annual meeting with its affiliated station, which was held Wednesday in New York City.

"Our mission is to have a steady stream of projects," says Hearst-Argyle EVP Terry Mackin, chairman of the NBC affiliate board.

The biggest collaboration to date between NBC and its affiliates is digital weather network Weather Plus, which is co-owned by the network and the stations.

Twenty stations currently air the service on digital broadcast channels and 17 are in the works. On Wednesday, four more station groups signed on.

The two sides also discussed developing joint Internet, broadband and wireless businesses.

Such talks triggered the idea for Weather Plus and NBC Universal EVP Brandon Burgess says he is polling station execs for future ideas.

"We’re going to go through another round to see what people’s appetite is for smaller and bigger ideas," he said.

Several hot-button station issues, like indecency and network compensation, were not on the agenda, Mackin said.

NBC's possible play for NFL TV rights came up briefly, but did not get serious discussion.

"I’m not sure availability is in the near term," Mackin said. Fox and CBS have already renewed their NFL deals. While  Disney is still holding out on its Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football packages, the network is expected to ante up for the multi-billion dollar renewal.