Time-Delay Question: Do Olympics Announcers Record Live?

Feb 10, 2014
Originally published on February 11, 2014 7:59 pm

The Winter Olympics brings up many questions about the sports themselves. But people are also wondering whether announcers might use the big time difference between Sochi and the U.S. to improve their coverage.

That idea came up over at Quora, the question-and-answer site:

"For NBC's time-delayed Olympic coverage, do the announcers call the events in real time, or do they insert their announcing after the fact when they know the result?"

Answered by Jim Bell, executive producer, NBC Olympics:

"Announcers call the events in real time & much of our coverage is live on our cable networks. For events that play on tape delay (all of our prime time coverage, e.g.), there are occasions — usually because we need to adjust our segment lengths — when we will re-voice certain things."

We're keeping an eye out for interesting topics that pop up at Quora during the games; you can see our last (more wide-ranging) post here. And feel free to ask your own question in the comment section, or at Quora.

Update at 7:45 pm. ET Feb. 11: About That Switcheroo

After publishing our post, we posted this comment/question over at Quora:

The other day, live figure skating was covered by Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir but then in primetime it was Hamilton. Were both sets of announcers there?

And here's Bell's answer to that one:

"Yes. Tara, Johnny & Terry Gannon call it live for NBCSN cable coverage. They are covering every single skate that takes place. Tom Hammond, Sandra Bezic & Scott Hamilton call it live to tape for NBC network coverage, which is packaged for our prime time network coverage."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.