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NBC Outlines Olympic Effort

NBC plans to air more than 1,000 hours of live coverage from the Athens Summer Olympic Games across its broadcast network, Telemundo and cable outlets, but its hi-def offerings will be less extensive than the Peacock had hoped.

That will include about 300 live hours, more than in any past Olympics. But NBC's weekday prime time coverage will be mostly tape-delayed thanks to a seven-hour time difference between the East Coast and Athens.

Live weekday events will be featured on NBC's cable channels USA Network, Bravo, MSNBC and CNBC. Freshly-acquired USA gets the best cable lineup, including basketball and tennis.

But high definition viewers won't be so lucky. NBC will offer eight hours of HD content per day, but it won't be live and will be limited to events from Swimming, diving, track, gymnastics,  basketball medal rounds and men's soccer gold medal finals.

NBC's Dick Ebersol admitted the network had hoped to provide more extensive HD coverage, but blamed technological limitations.

By the 2006 Winter Games in Italy, though, Ebersol said NBC would be able to provide full HD coverage, with the same feed and announcers for high def and standard definition.