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Twitter integration and more Olympic ideas

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two years ago, I offered suggestions to spice up the Winter Olympics. None of those ideas would translate to the Summer Games, but now I've come up with some new things I think would make the Olympics even more entertaining for the billions who watch them.

Here are my medal-worthy submissions:

Gold: Twitter integration.

People are addicted to social media. Embrace it by doing crawls of viewer tweets along the bottom of the screen during coverage. Promote the use of sport- and athlete-specific hashtags, as well as general ones like #olympics2012, #TeamUSA or #goldmedalmoment.

Silver: Mascot games.

Every Olympics has a mascot (this year's are the bizarre one-eyed creatures Wenlock and Mandeville) and, since 1998, they've all had more than one. Take a cue from the Milwaukee Brewers' Sausage Race, and send these mascots head-to-head for friendly competitions at some of the venues.

Bronze: National anthem karaoke.

At least half of the Olympians who make it to the top of the podium sing or mouth the words to their anthem as it plays, so give them a microphone and let them go at it with Surround Sound backing. Put the words onscreen, so viewers can sing along, too.

•••

NBC has been thoroughly berated for not showing the bulk of its Olympics coverage live. However, even with it pre-recorded, there is still a demand to see the action, so here's this week's schedule:

THURSDAY

NBC primetime: gymnastics, swimming and beach volleyball, 8 p.m. to midnight.

NBC: swimming, canoeing, beach volleyball, cycling, water polo, volleyball and rowing, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; canoeing and table tennis, 12:35 to 1:35 a.m.

NBC Sports: table tennis, archery, shooting, boxing, field hockey, beach volleyball, basketball and volleyball, 4 a.m. to 8 p.m.

MSNBC: equestrian, badminton, judo, water polo, volleyball and handball, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bravo: tennis, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

CNBC: boxing, 5 to 8 p.m.

 

FRIDAY

NBC primetime: swimming, diving, track and field, volleyball and trampoline, 8 p.m. to midnight.

NBC: track and field, rowing, swimming, beach volleyball and water polo, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; cycling, heptathlon and discus, 12:35 to 1:35 p.m.

NBC Sports: beach volleyball, shooting, archery, boxing, soccer, volleyball and basketball, 4 a.m. to 8 p.m.

MSNBC: gymnastics, water polo, equestrian, table tennis, weightlifting, badminton and handball, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bravo: tennis, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

CNBC: boxing, 5 to 8 p.m.

 

SATURDAY

NBC primetime: swimming, beach volleyball, diving and track, 8 p.m. to midnight.

NBC: tennis, 9 to 11 a.m.; track and field, trampoline, volleyball, water polo, cycling, rowing and beach volleyball, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; cycling and discus, 12:35 to 1:35 a.m.

NBC Sports: triathlon, 4 to 6:15 a.m.; basketball, beach volleyball and cycling, 6:15 to 11:30 a.m.; tennis, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; field hockey, equestrian, shooting and volleyball, 2 to 8 p.m.

MSNBC: track and field, soccer, water polo, badminton and weight lifting, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

CNBC: boxing, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

 

SUNDAY

NBC primetime: track and field, gymnastics, diving and beach volleyball, 7 p.m. to midnight.

NBC: track and field, 6 to 9 a.m.; tennis, 9 to 11:30 a.m.; basketball, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; equestrian, water polo, volleyball, cycling and beach volleyball, 1:30 to 6 p.m.; field events and badminton, 12:35 to 1:35 a.m.

NBC Sports: badminton, cycling, tennis, volleyball, beach volleyball, synchronized swimming, shooting and weightlifting, 4 a.m. to 7 p.m.

MSNBC: tennis, 7 to 9 a.m.; table tennis, water polo, handball, wrestling, beach volleyball and field hockey, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

CNBC: boxing, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

 

MONDAY

NBC primetime: gymnastics, track, diving, beach volleyball and cycling, 8 p.m. to midnight.

NBC: track and field, water polo, beach volleyball, canoeing, equestrian, synchronized swimming, cycling and volleyball, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; steeplechase, shot put and cycling, 12:35 to 1:35 a.m.

NBC Sports: basketball, volleyball, field hockey, soccer, boxing, shooting and weightlifting, 4 a.m. to 8 p.m.

MSNBC: table tennis, shooting, wrestling, water polo, beach volleyball and basketball, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

CNBC: boxing, 5 to 8 p.m.

 

TUESDAY

NBC primetime: gymnastics, track and field and beach volleyball, 8 p.m. to midnight.

NBC: track and field, diving, beach volleyball, water polo, volleyball and cycling, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; diving and discus, 12:35 to 1:35 a.m.

NBC Sports: basketball, field hockey, soccer, canoeing, triathlon, handball, equestrian and weightlifting, 4 a.m. to 8 p.m.

MSNBC: volleyball, 9 a.m. to noon; beach volleyball, noon to 2 p.m.; table tennis, water polo, volleyball, synchronized swimming and wrestling, 2 to 6 p.m.

CNBC: boxing, 5 to 8 p.m.

 

WEDNESDAY

NBC primetime: diving, track and beach volleyball, 8 p.m. to 11:05 p.m.

NBC: equestrian, track and field, cycling, canoeing, volleyball, water polo and beach volleyball, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; javelin and cycling, 12:35 to 1:35 a.m.

NBC Sports: handball, basketball, table tennis, boxing and field hockey, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

MSNBC: volleyball, water polo, table tennis and wrestling, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

CNBC: boxing, 5 to 8 p.m.

•••

With so many eyes on NBC for the Olympics, the network is using the exposure to dole out early looks at two fall shows: the Matthew Perry group therapy sitcom "Go On" at 11:05 p.m. Wednesday and the veterinary sitcom "Animal Practice" on Aug. 12. You can also catch a six-minute preview of the sci-fi thriller "Revolution," at approximately 10:54 p.m. Saturday.

•••

Series premieres: "Off the Hook: Extreme Catches," 9 p.m. Sunday, Animal Planet (nontraditional fishing); "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," 10 p.m. Wednesday, TLC ("Toddlers & Tiaras" spin-off).

Season premiere: "Flip Men," 10 p.m. Sunday, Spike; "Paranormal Witness," 10 p.m. Wednesday, Syfy.

Season finales: "Miss Advised," 10 p.m. Monday, Bravo; "Dallas," 9 p.m. Wednesday, TNT.

Specials: "Say Yes to the Dress: NFL Brides," 9 p.m. Friday, TLC; "The Science of Dr. Who," 9 p.m. Saturday, BBC America.

West Virginia alert: Boone County native Kristan Cunningham hosts the bargain-hunting competition "Super Saver Showdown," premiering at 9 p.m. Friday on OWN.

Reach Amy Robinson at flipside@wvgazette.com.


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