Television viewers tuning on MSNBC during the Olympics might have expected to see athletes around the world take part in sports like biathlon and bobsled, but instead they will find MSNBC’s standard daytime schedule. MSNBC, which typically gave up its daytime hours to the Olympics while keeping their usual morning and primetime schedule, will not be broadcasting the Olympics this year. Instead, MSNBC’s role seems to have been supplanted by the relatively new Olympic Channel which will broadcast several hours of Olympic coverage a day.
The same cannot be said for CNBC which is used for Olympic coverage outside of business hours. CNBC, per usual, will be the home of curling and ice hockey coverage. For twelve days, the business cable news channel will broadcast three hours of curling a day as well as late night ice hockey coverage on a few nights.
CNBC’s ratings have historically been lower once the markets close (the channel started broadcasting taped programming several years in primetime in an effort to boost ratings), so the decision to broadcast the Olympics is a non-brainer. However, there is clearly thinking that MSNBC’s daytime is sufficient without the Olympics.
The NBC broadcast network will of course be affected by the Olympics. NBC will air 176 hours of Olympic coverage and, for the first time in a Winter Olympic Games, broadcast primetime and primetime plus (what they are calling the block after the late local news) will be broadcast live across the nation.
NBC News is also traveling to South Korea for the games. Lester Holt has been hosting NBC Nightly News from PyeongChang (an interview with Vice President Mike Pence aired earlier in the week) since Thursday and will host every day through Friday. The first two hours of Today will start broadcasting from South Korea on Monday and go until the 23rd. Several NBC News correspondents have also been brought over to PyeongChang, including Miguel Almaguer, Dylan Dreyer, Richard Engel, Joe Fryer, Willie Geist, Stephanie Gosk, Craig Melvin, Natalie Morales, Gadi Schwartz, Keir Simmons, Kate Snow, and Anne Thompson.