Friday, August 1, 2008

Fri Aug 1: One Week Left - Planning Your Olympic Viewing Experience

Well we've hit the home straightaway and are less than a week until the Opening Ceremonies at the Beijing Olympic Games. And since the games are just one long sports party for the fans and viewers watching around the world, NOW Sports helps you get ready for viewing this 17-day spectacle with this viewing guide.

It's A Huge Sports Marathon: How to Balance Watching and Sleeping/The Rest of Your Life
The Olympics are a big deal. It comes every four years and its important that fans relish as many great moments as possible. And since NBC will be covering it 24/7, you'll need a battle plan to ensure that your eyes won't give out by the second week.

I've learned from watching the Athens Games that you don't need to watch everything. Actually, it's impossible to watch everything. But in order to catch the great moments of the games, you may need to change your sleeping habits a bit, given that you are able to and have no prior commitments.

The prime hours that you want to be up to watch the games are between 7PM Eastern and 12 Noon Eastern the next day. That's right, you'll want to pull out an all nighter if you want to see the latest live action. Between these hours, you'll be getting the best highlights from the previous day in primetime on NBC and also watch the live events that are available to you, and trust me there are a lot of live events available to you during these hours. Because NBC secured holding several events in the morning in Beijing so that they can be live in primetime here in the states, you're more likely to watch the events in primetime than you did back in 2000, when the games were held in Sydney and everything was tape-delayed.
NBC will also have events live online and some of the cable networks owned by NBC like CNBC or USA Network will have live coverage in the middle of the night. And NBC doesn't have to be your only source for live Olympic coverage. The internet can be your best friend if you look hard enough. ESPN's Sportscenter will also start their live morning editions conveniently during the Olympics (trust me, this isn't coincidence). So ESPN, though they won't have video coverage, can also be helpful too.

You definitely want to be awake during those early to late morning hours. In fact, 8AM-12PM is primetime in China, meaning that there will be some big events going on in the morning hours, including track and field and the event finals in gymnastics. Basketball, soccer and volleyball will also be played during these hours as well.

So when do you sleep or do anything else? Well if you have work, or some projects and stuff to do, see if you can do that while you're watching the Olympics at night. It may help keep you awake. And for sleeping, the prime hours for sleeping during the Olympics will be during the daytime hours. Though the networks of NBC will be broadcasting during the day, most of that will be tape-delayed. If you want to watch the event, then DVR or TiVo will be your best friend. I'd say 1PM to 6PM would be good hours to sleep since nothing is happening in China during those hours.

But if you must be awake in the daytime to do whatever, then your alarm clock will be your best friend. Power naps during the Olympics will help and getting most of your sleep done in the first half of the Olympics will be key to enhancing your Olympic viewing experience. NBC will be showing a lot of preliminary action during the first few days of competition so it's okay to take a nap during the Gymnastics qualifying or the first round games of beach volleyball. If you don't budget your sleep, then you'll have trouble catching the track and field events or the medal rounds of many team sports.

I know a lot of this sounds completely crazy and many of you will live your lives normally during the Games and go to sleep at night. But the Games only come once every four years and being that it is in Beijing, this will definitely be an experience unlike any other.

So let's not waste this opportunity. Stay up for a night or two or ten. Trust me you won't want to miss it. Tomorrow, we'll talk about enhancing your Olympic viewing experience with activities, food, etc to do while you watch.
Other Notes and News:
Men's USA Basketball Team Defeated Lithuania Easily in Pre-Olympic Exhibition
BBC Sport Gets Excited About the Games After Arriving in Beijing

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