send­ing crew to Win­ter Olympics in Van­cou­ver

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

casts start­ing Tues­day. The show will start at 4 a.m. lo­cal time each week­day, mean­ing ath­letes who want to show off their medals must travel 20 min­utes out of the city and take a tram ride to a set on Grouse Moun­tain in the mid­dle of the night.

“ They’ll come,” pre­dicted Jim Bell, the show’s ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer.

To­day looms as an ever-more im­por­tant pro­mo­tional show­case for NBC’s Win­ter Olympics cov­er­age, given the net­work’s dwin­dling au­di­ence in prime-time and late-night hours. Not that it needs it, but the Olympics are an­other show­case for tele­vi­sion’s most pop­u­lar morn­ing news show.

Matt Lauer and Natalie Mo­rales are arriving first at the To­day set; Lauer will carry the Olympic torch through the town of Burn­aby, B.C., as part of the torch re­lay. Mered­ith Vieira, Al Roker and Ann Curry ar­rive on Feb. 12, the day of open­ing cer­e­monies. It’s the sev­enth time that To­day has gone on lo­ca­tion for Olympics cov­er­age.

The sched­ule was far more comfortable for To­day and its guests dur­ing the Sum­mer Games in Bei­jing two years ago. There, the live show kicked off at 7 p.m. lo­cal time.

De­spite be­ing in the mid­dle of the night, Bell said ath­letes will still wake up early for the chance to be seen on na­tional tele­vi­sion. In many cases, they will just stay up late.

“Even though it’s 4 a.m., we’re ex­cited to have great guests, great crowds, great en­ergy,” he said. “It’s the Olympics. Peo­ple will want to come if they have a medal draped around their neck or if they want to hold up a sign say­ing ‘ hi’ to the peo­ple back home. It doesn’t mat­ter to us what time it is.”

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