Several friends have emailed or called asking how to find Olympic TV coverage - specifically, what sports are on and when. I have pointed them to nbcolympics.com but one friend wrote: "I tried to figure out that NBC TV schedule - forget it!"
The information is there. It just requires a few clicks to find. Rather than coaching my friend through the process, I just cut and paste the weekend TV schedule and emailed it to her. For others who are stymied, I have done the same (see below).
But first, the opening ceremonies are on tonight, Friday, August 8, but not at 8 p.m. as NBC has been advertising on the "8" theme (8-08-08 at 8 p.m.). They start at 7:30 p.m. ET, and from what I've read so far, they are spectacular (the opening ceremonies did start at 8 p.m. in Beijing, which is 8 a.m. on the East Coast of the U.S.). It sounds like the Chinese are putting on a magnificent performance.
Here is what's on NBC and when this weekend. Note: MSNBC, CNBC, USA, Universal HD, Oxygen, and Telemundo are also airing Olympic coverage. To find out what is on and when on those channels, go here and click on the shaded areas for each channel.
Also, unless coverage is marked "LIVE," it is a delayed broadcast of an event that has already happened. If you'd rather watch the event live, NBCOlympics.com is airing live streaming video of most events. Go here for a list of online videos and when they are available.
NBC's Saturday coverage:
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (ET) Seeking a chance for its first medal since 1992, the United States women's volleyball team faces Japan in preliminary round-robin play (LIVE ET/CT).
12:30-1 p.m. Coverage of the cyclists competing in the men's road race as they pedal past some of China's most important cultural landmarks in this 152.48-mile medal event.
1-1:30 p.m. Men's and women's rowing events begin at the Shunyi Rowing Park.
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Two medal-contending American teams are among those competing in beach volleyball competition from Chaoyang Park.
2:30-3:30 p.m. Continuing coverage of the cyclists competing in the men's road race, as they pedal past some of China's cultural landmarks in this 152.48-mile trek.
3:30-4:30 p.m. Qualifying heats in swimming, including the 400m IM. American superstar Michael Phelps is the world record-holder in this event as well as the defending Olympic champion.
4:30-5:30 p.m. Back to the beach for more volleyball, including first-round coverage of U.S. men's and women's action.
5:30-6 p.m. Swimming coverage continues from the "Water Cube," China's iconic National Aquatics Center.
7-8 p.m. Preview primetime Olympic coverage, and get the latest on your local Olympians competing in Beijing.
8 p.m.-midnight Primetime: Qualification in men's gymnastics and U.S. beach volleyball coverage, where defending Olympic champs Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh face a Latvian tandem (LIVE ET/CT). Also, gold-medal finals in swimming: the men's 400m free, the women's 4x100m free relay and the men's and women's 400m IM (LIVE ET/CT). In the latter two events, Americans Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff each hold world records.
NBC's Sunday coverage:
10 a.m.-12 p.m. (ET) The U.S. men's basketball team missed out on an Olympic gold medal in 2004. Now the newest "Dream Team" tries to become the "Redeem Team," and its journey begins with a preliminary-round contest against host nation China - and its oversized national hero Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets (LIVE ET/CT).
12-1 p.m. Washington state native Melanie Roach, a former gymnast and mother of three, makes her Olympic debut at age 33 in the women's 53kg weightlifting event. Also, coverage of men's and women's rowing heats.
1-3:30 p.m. U.S. vs. China in men's water polo; also, badminton, beach volleyball, and women's cycling, where riders endure nearly 80 miles in pursuit of road race gold.
3:30-6 p.m. The culmination of the women's cycling road race, in which the top female riders tour - and endure - nearly 80 miles of Beijing streets in pursuit of Olympic medals. Also, more swimming as competitors try to advance from qualifying in the women's 100m back and 400m free while men race the 200m free, 100m back and 4x100m free relay.
7-9:30 p.m. Primetime Americans Michael Phelps, Katie Hoff and Brendan Hansen chase gold in the pool (LIVE ET/CT), and women's gymnastics team qualifying. Also, women's synchro diving and rowing.
9:30 p.m.-midnight Primetime Americans Michael Phelps, Katie Hoff and Brendan Hansen chase gold in the pool (LIVE ET/CT). Also, gymnasts take to the mats for women's team qualifying, with the reigning world champion U.S. led by highly talented and much-decorated teenagers Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin. And women's synchronized springboard diving finals are contested; and rowing continues with heats in the men's and women's "eight" events.
Peggy Shinn is a freelance contributor for teamusa.org. This blog was not subject to the approval of the United States Olympic Committee or any National Governing Bodies.