Record 170 Commentators Join NBC Olympics’ Coverage of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Jul 5, 2016  •  Post A Comment

Press release from NBC, July 5, 2016:

Bob Costas leads a record 170 NBC Olympics commentators (which includes those to be announced in the coming weeks) – the most ever for an Olympics – as NBCUniversal presents coverage of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil across NBC, NBCSN, Bravo, CNBC, Golf Channel, MSNBC, USA Network, TELEMUNDO, NBC UNIVERSO, the NBC Sports app, and NBCOlympics.com.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics is one month from today – Friday, August 5 on NBC. Matt Lauer, co-anchor of TODAY, Meredith Vieira, special correspondent for TODAY, and Hoda Kotb, co-host of the fourth hour of TODAY, will host the Opening Ceremony.

More than 40 members of the team will be making their NBC Olympics debuts, led by Golf Channel’s David Feherty.

NBC Sports Group presents expanded coverage of the Rio Games, including golf returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904. The overall talent lineup features the return of many of the network’s signature Olympic hosts, play-by-play commentators and analysts with Olympic experience.

NBC Olympics commentator notes:

  • The roster includes Olympians who have won a combined total of 59 Olympic medals (25 gold, 21 silver, and 13 bronze). Team NBC would have finished fifth in the London medal count ahead of Germany and behind Team USA, China, Russia and Great Britain.
  • Bob Costas, a 27-time Emmy Award winner, serves as NBC’s primetime host; Al Michaels will serve as a host during NBC’s daytime coverage on weekdays and weekends. Dan Patrick and Rebecca Lowe will work across both NBC and NBCSN. Liam McHugh and Carolyn Manno will handle NBCSN hosting duties. Ryan Seacrest will serve as host for NBC’s late night coverage.
  • Rio 2016 will be Matt Lauer’s 11th Olympics for TODAY, and his fifth in a role on the primetime Opening Ceremony broadcast. Meredith Vieira works her third Opening Ceremony for NBC. Hoda Kotb previously worked at multiple Olympics for NBC News including in Athens (2004), Torino (2006), Beijing (2008) and London (2012).
  • Among the Olympians on Team NBC: Four-time Trinidad and Tobago Olympic track and field medalist Ato Boldon, 2008 U.S. Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Nastia Liukin, two-time U.S. Olympic gymnastics medalist Tim Daggett, three-time U.S. Olympic swimming gold medalist Rowdy Gaines, two-time U.S. Olympic women’s soccer gold medalists Kate Markgraf and Aly Wagner, U.S. Olympic women’s soccer silver medalist Danielle Slaton, U.S. Olympic volleyball gold medalists Paul Sunderland and Chris Marlowe, two-time U.S. Olympic wrestling gold medalist John Smith, three-time U.S Olympic rowing medalist Mary Whipple, two-time U.S. Olympic basketball gold medalist Swin Cash, U.S. Olympic diving gold medalist Laura Wilkinson, U.S. Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Dain Blanton, U.S. Olympic equestrian gold medalist Melanie Smith-Taylor, U.S. Olympic synchronized swimming gold medalist Heather Olson, eight-time U.S. Olympic short track speed skating medalist Apolo Ohno, 1998 U.S. Olympic figure skating gold medalist Tara Lipinski, two-time U.S. Olympic ice hockey medalist AJ Mleczko, and 2006 U.S. Olympic ice dance silver medalist Tanith White.
  • The 170 commentators will work coverage on NBCU platforms – NBC, NBCSN, Bravo, CNBC, Golf Channel, MSNBC, USA Network, the NBC Sports app, and NBCOlympics.com – the most in-depth coverage in Summer Olympics history. TELEMUNDO and NBC UNIVERSO commentators will be announced in the coming weeks.



  • BOB COSTAS: Costas serves as NBC’s primetime Olympic host for a U.S. television record 11th time when the world’s top athletes gather for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. He has served as primetime host for every Olympics on NBC since 1992, including the 2012 London Games, which is the most-watched television event in U.S. history, reaching 217 million viewers. The Rio assignment is Costas’ seventh as primetime host of a Summer Games – also the most in U.S. television history. This will be Costas’ 12th Olympics for NBC, as he served as NBC’s late night host at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
  • AL MICHAELS: Michaels works his fourth consecutive Games for NBC Olympics after serving in a similar hosting capacity in Sochi (2014), London (2012), and Vancouver (2010). One of the most renowned commentators of all-time, Michaels’ legendary “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” call at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics stands as one of the most famous calls in sports history.
  • DAN PATRICK: Patrick handles his fourth NBC Olympics assignment. He previously hosted daytime coverage at the 2014 Sochi Games and the 2012 London Olympics, and served as a reporter in Vancouver in 2010.
  • REBECCA LOWE: Lowe serves as an NBC Olympics host for the second time, after making her debut in Sochi in 2014. The 2016-17 season will mark Lowe’s fourth season as host of NBC Sports Group’s exclusive Premier League coverage in the U.S.
  • LIAM MCHUGH: McHugh returns to NBC Olympics in a hosting role for the third time. He previously was host of the Olympic hockey coverage at the 2014 Sochi Games and served as an anchor of NBCSN’s coverage in London in 2012.
  • CAROLYN MANNO: Manno makes her NBC Olympics hosting debut in Rio. She previously served as a freestyle skiing reporter at the 2014 Sochi Games, and was a sportsdesk reporter at the 2012 London Olympics. Manno also worked as a studio host during the 2014 Sochi Paralympics.
  • RYAN SEACREST: Seacrest will serve as host for NBC’s late night coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Seacrest was a correspondent for NBC’s coverage of the 2012 London Games, during which he interviewed U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps and was one of the hosts of the Closing Ceremony.


  • MARY CARILLO: Rio marks Carillo’s 13th Olympic assignment overall and 10th for NBC. She spent nearly three weeks traversing Brazil to film her travelogues, which have been a fundamental part of introducing the people, culture, and history of the host country and city to the U.S. television audience since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Carillo also served as a correspondent for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and was the host and interviewer for a primetime 20-year retrospective documentary about Olympic figure skaters Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. She was late night host and correspondent at the 2012 London Olympics, 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics.
  • JIMMY ROBERTS: A 13-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster and writer, Roberts will reprise his role reporting on the stories of the Games, his 16th Olympic assignment. He has reported on “Ping Pong Diplomacy” in Beijing, Bode Miller in Vancouver, changes to Wimbledon for the Olympics in London, and hockey in Russia from Sochi.
  • DAVID FEHERTY: Feherty will offer commentary on NBC’s primetime coverage, as well on other shows and platforms. He will also contribute to NBC’s Opening Ceremony coverage on August 5. In addition to his correspondent role in Rio, Feherty will serve as an on-course reporter and tower analyst during the men’s golf competition (August 11-14, Golf Channel), and contribute to Golf Channel’s Live From the Olympics coverage of both the men’s and women’s competitions.
  • HODA KOTB: In addition to her Opening Ceremony role, Kotb will serve as a correspondent, providing her unique brand of conversation, commentary and insight into the sights, sounds and happenings in Rio.
  • BELA KAROLYI: Karolyi, the gymnastics coaching legend, will serve as a correspondent, reprising his role from the 2012 London Olympics and 2008 Beijing Games.
  • TARA LIPINSKI AND JOHNNY WEIR: Lipinski and Weir will work together on NBC’s coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, as they explore the rich culture, sights, sounds and, of course, fashion, of Rio. After receiving critical acclaim for their figure skating analysis on NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Sochi Games, Lipinski and Weir were named NBC’s lead figure skating commentary team. Lipinski is the youngest individual gold medalist in the history of the Olympic Winter Games, capturing a gold medal at the Nagano Olympics in 1998 at the age of 15. Weir is a two-time Olympian, three-time U.S. national champion and World bronze medalist.

REPORTERS: NBC Olympics’ reporters will cover various venues and locations throughout the Games, and will contribute to features on a variety of platforms including The Olympic Zone – a nightly 30-minute show that airs on NBC affiliates. The reporters, all based in Rio, include: Apolo Ohno, the most decorated Winter Olympian in U.S. history with eight short track speed skating medals (two gold), NBC News correspondents Anne Thompson, Craig Melvin, Gadi Schwartz, and Jill Martin, along with NBC Sports Group’s Rutledge Wood (NASCAR features reporter), Alex Flanagan, and Dalen Cuff (CSN New England anchor and reporter). Jac Collinsworth joins the team in Rio as NBC Olympics’ first-ever social media correspondent. He’ll interview athletes, NBC analysts and give a behind the scenes look at the Rio Games.

BRAVO, USA NETWORK, CNBC, MSNBC HOSTS: Dave Briggs (Bravo/Tennis), Ahmed Fareed (USA Network), Brett Haber (Bravo/Tennis), Fred Roggin (CNBC) and Rob Simmelkjaer (MSNBC) will serve as hosts for NBC Olympics coverage of the Rio Olympics from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn. Briggs and Fareed make their Olympic debuts, while Haber returns for his second Olympic assignment, Roggin returns for his ninth, and Simmelkjaer reprises his role from London.

GOLF CHANNEL LIVE FROM THE OLYMPICS: Golf Channel will provide wraparound news coverage immediately prior to and following live coverage of the competition via its Golf Central Live From the Olympics programming. Rich Lerner will host coverage from Rio’s Olympic golf course and will be joined by Nick Faldo (men’s competition) and Karen Stupples (women’s competition). Golf Channel insider Rex Hoggard and Todd Lewis also will provide daily reports and offer interviews with players on-site. Analysts David Duval, Brandel Chamblee, Frank Nobilo, Jim Gallagher Jr., Aaron Oberholser, Paige Mackenzie and reporter Tim Rosaforte will join hosts Ryan Burr and Kelly Tilghman from Golf Channel’s World Headquarters throughout the Olympics.

OLYMPIC NEWS DESK UPDATES: Hosted by Julie Donaldson and Jenna Corrado, Olympic News Desk updates will stream periodically throughout the day on NBCOlympics.com. They will feature the most up-to-date news, competition and highlights, from the day’s events in Rio. Olympic Desk Updates will be produced at NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn.


GYMNASTICS: Five-time Olympic medalist and 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin makes her debut as an NBC Olympics gymnastics analyst in Rio, alongside two-time Olympic medalist Tim Daggett and play-by-play voice Al Trautwig. In addition, coaching legend Bela Karolyi reprises his role with NBC Olympics as a primetime correspondent. Daggett, who has contributed to NBC Olympics’ coverage since the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, works alongside Trautwig for the fifth consecutive Games. Liukin will work her third Olympics with NBC Sports, previously serving as a reporter during NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, and as an NBCOlympics.com contributor during the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Andrea Joyce returns as a reporter for her ninth Olympics with NBC Sports Group.

SWIMMING: Dan Hicks calls swimming in Rio alongside analyst and three-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist Rowdy Gaines. Rio marks Hicks and Gaines’ sixth Olympics calling swimming together. NBC’s Sunday Night Football sideline reporter and multiple Emmy Award-winner Michele Tafoya joins Hicks and Gaines in Rio, working her fourth Olympics, and making her debut at the swimming competition.

TRACK & FIELD: Tom Hammond, who has won acclaim for his memorable calls at the last six Summer Olympics, will once again call track & field. Kenny Albert will handle play-by-play duties for track events on NBCSN, making his Summer Olympics debut for NBC after calling Olympic hockey since 2002, and Todd Harris handles play-by-play for field events – his fifth Olympic assignment. Ato Boldon returns as an analyst in his fourth Olympic assignment. Lewis Johnson will serve as a track and field reporter in his ninth assignment with NBC Olympics. Craig Masback, who worked as a track & field commentator for NBC in Barcelona, Atlanta, Beijing, and London, returns to provide analysis on the men’s marathon and distance races. Tim Hutchings, a former middle-distance runner who represented Great Britain at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, will provide analysis on the marathons.

DIVING: Ted Robinson, working his seventh Olympics, will handle play-by-play for diving coverage. Cynthia Potter, who made three Olympic teams and won bronze in 1976, returns as analyst, a role she’s handled for NBC since the 1992 Games. Olympic gold medalist Laura Wilkinson will serve as an on-deck analyst, and Kelli Stavast will serve as a reporter in their debuts with NBC Olympics.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Chris Marlowe won a gold medal as captain of the 1984 U.S. Olympic volleyball team, and will return to handle beach volleyball play-by-play for his seventh Olympics as an NBC commentator. Marlowe will split play-by-play duties with Jason Knapp, making his second Olympic appearance. Beach volleyball Olympian Kevin Wong returns for his second Olympic assignment as an analyst, joined by analyst and Olympic gold medalist Dain Blanton, who makes his NBC Olympics debut, and reporter Kathryn Tappen, in her Summer Olympics debut after hosting hockey in Sochi.

VOLLEYBALL: Paul Sunderland, a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. volleyball team at the 1984 Olympics, returns to call indoor volleyball, a role he’s held for NBC Olympics in Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Beijing, and London. He is joined by two-time Olympian Kevin Barnett, in his third Olympic assignment.

BASKETBALL: Legendary basketball play-by-play broadcaster Marv Albert returns to the Olympics to call Team USA men’s basketball for the first time since the U.S. men captured gold in Atlanta in 1996. He will be joined by former NBA head coach and 1972 U.S. Olympian Doug Collins, and reporter Craig Sager, working his fifth consecutive Olympics for NBC. The 2016 Rio Olympics mark Albert’s fifth NBC Olympics assignment and third calling men’s basketball. Collins, a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team, takes on his fourth Olympic broadcasting assignment. Coverage of Team USA women’s basketball will be handled by CSN-Philadelphia’s Marc Zumoff (play-by-play) and 1976 U.S. Olympian Ann Meyers (analyst). They will be joined by reporter Ros Gold-Onwude, who works Golden State Warriors telecasts for CSN Bay Area. Zumoff, the play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia 76ers since 1994, makes his Olympics debut. Meyers, a 1993 inductee into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and a silver medalist as a member of the first-ever U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team (1976), works her fifth consecutive Summer Games for NBC. Gold-Onwude, who competed in three Final Fours and was 2010 Pac-12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year while playing for Stanford, makes her Olympics debut.

GOLF: Johnny Miller, World Golf Hall-of-Famer and NBC analyst of more than 25 years will lead the network’s live tournament coverage of the men’s competition, rotating lead analyst roles with six-time major champion and Hall-of-Famer Nick Faldo in the 18th tower. David Feherty, Emmy-nominated sports personality and longtime golf broadcaster, will split time as a tower analyst and on-course reporter, and Peter Jacobsen will serve as a second tower analyst. Roger Maltbie and Curt Byrum will offer insight from inside the ropes as on-course reporters along with Feherty. Veteran NBC Olympic personalities Terry Gannon and Steve Sands will join Miller and Faldo in the broadcast booth, rotating play-by-play duties. Todd Lewis will serve as a reporter and conduct player interviews. Gannon and Sands also will handle play-by-play during the women’s competition, where they’ll be joined by two additional Hall-of-Fame personalities in 10-time major champion and winner of 72 tournaments on the LPGA Tour, Annika Sorenstam, who will rotate lead analyst duties with longtime golf broadcaster Judy Rankin. Byrum also will join the 18th tower as an analyst, while Tom Abbott will be positioned as a tower analyst. Jerry Foltz and Kay Cockerill will serve as on-course reporters. Karen Stupples also will contribute to Golf Channel’s live tournament coverage as an analyst, and Lewis will conduct player interviews.

SOCCER: NBC Sports Group’s lead Premier League play-by-play announcer Arlo White returns to the Olympics to call Team USA women’s soccer in Rio, alongside analyst and two-time U.S. Olympic women’s soccer gold medalist Kate Markgraf. White and Markgraf, working their second Olympics for NBC, will be joined by CSN Mid-Atlantic reporter Sebastian Salazar, who makes his Olympic debut. Steve Bower, Steve Cangialosi, and Mark Followill will handle play-by-play duties from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., joined by men’s soccer analysts Robbie Earle, Kyle Martino, Robbie Mustoe and Stuart Holden. U.S. Olympic silver medalist Danielle Slaton and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist Aly Wagner, make their NBC Olympics debuts as women’s soccer analysts.

WATER POLO: Paul Burmeister will serve as the water polo play-by-play announcer in his NBC Olympics debut. He is joined by Wolf Wigo, a three-time Olympian and former captain of U.S. men’s water polo team, and Julie Swail, former captain of the U.S. women’s water polo team that earned the silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Swail made her NBC Olympics debut as a water polo analyst in Athens in 2004. In 2008, she competed in the triathlon at the Beijing Olympics. She will also reprise her role as the analyst for the triathlon competition. NBC Sports Group’s NHL “Inside the Glass” analyst Pierre McGuire will serve as a water polo reporter in his fourth Olympic assignment.

BOXING: Play-by-play voice Kenny Rice returns to call boxing after making his Olympic debut with NBC Sports Group as a boxing reporter at the 2004 Athens Games. He will be joined by analyst B.J. Flores and reporter Chris Mannix.

WRESTLING: Jason Knapp will serve as the wrestling play-by-play announcer after making his Olympic debut in the same role in London. John Smith, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion, makes his Olympic commentating debut as an analyst in Rio.

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