The U.S. Ski Team and NBC Sports Network will partner for historic first-ever U.S. live TV broadcasts of Audi FIS Ski World Cup ski racing as part of a pre-Sochi broadcast schedule announced by the network and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. The live coverage will feature the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational Thanksgiving weekend along with the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup in Beaver Creek, CO a week later. It’s part of an extensive coverage package between NBC and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association including 11 hours on NBC and 22 on NBC Sports Network.
The broadcast schedule also includes the FIS World Cup events in Telluride, CO, Copper Mountain, CO, Lake Placid, NY, Deer Valley Resort in Park City, UT, Canyons Resort, UT, Squaw Valley, CA and Heavenly, CA, and features the most same-day and same-weekend coverage ever, including two live programs from the Audi FIS World Cup. Key events from the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Park City, UT and Copper Mountain, CO will run next day on NBC showcasing new Olympic sports in freeskiing and snowboarding.Bill Marolt, President and CEO, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association commented: "Live broadcasting of the Audi FIS World Cup from Aspen and Beaver Creek is an historic step for our organization and our partner NBC Sports Network. This first-ever live coverage will help create greater relevance for our sport and great stars like Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso, Ted Ligety and Bode Miller."
Michael Jaquet, Chief Marketing Officer, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association added: "Our partner NBC has helped us take some huge steps in developing a more relevant broadcast schedule with not only live broadcasts but more same weekend coverage than ever. Across all of our sports, including alpine, freeskiing, freestyle and snowboarding, we have the most impactful broadcast schedule ever which will help us grow viewership and increase the value of our sports for our fans, partners and athletes."Sarah Lewis, Secretary General, International Ski Federation, noted: "NBC is hugely committed to Olympic sport and the development of its partnership with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association is an important step for the FIS disciplines with live coverage in the United States. The top US athletes are already stars in many nations and this will be a great chance to increase their popularity at home. With the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships taking place in Vail-Beaver Creek, this agreement will enable the opportunity to build up national interest towards the Championships."
Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso, too are excited. Vonn said: "Broadcasting our World Cups from Aspen and Beaver Creek live is a great way to promote the thrill of alpine ski racing and build excitement for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. NBC did an amazing job with the London Olympics and its coverage continued to prove how passionate Americans are for Olympic sports."
Mancuso summarized: "This is a great step for our sport and I'm glad we can bring the excitement of alpine skiing into American homes in real time. I'm very excited to see ski racing go live in the U.S. - it's when sports need to be seen!"
Ted Ligety concluded: "Broadcasting the Audi Birds of Prey giant slalom live is a huge step forward in showing the intensity and excitement of alpine skiing to the U.S. audience. It’s one of the best races of the season."