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Covering the Games for TV

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Covering the Olympics for Salt Lake television is a job for many people, and for many organizations. Bruce Lindsay explains.

For example, when you see Olympic skating on Channel Five next month, or the downhill, or cross country, that'll all be coverage by NBC Sports. NBC paid $545 million for exclusive coverage rights inside the competition venues.

But, for the host city, as even Bob Costas will tell you, the bigger

half of the Olympic story happens outside the fence.

"You're going to be surprised by how everyone gets caught up in it.," Costas said. "There will probably be some people who'll be grumbling that their regular routine is being disrupted. But it really is something special, like a world's fair or some special event coming. But even more so, than something like the city that hosts the Super Bowl, because that's essentially an American event. This is an international event. It'll be a once in a lifetime experience for Utahns."

And that's the part of the Olympics KSL TV will cover - the once in a life time experience for our community, with the excitement, the disruptions, the grumbling, the successes and the failures that come with hosting the biggest party in the world.

"It will be the single largest and certainly longest news event for KSL Television and the Eyewitness News to cover in the history of the station," said Al Henderson/KSL Olympics Coordinator.

For more than a year, Henderson has devoted full time to planning KSL's local Olympic programming.

"Since September of last year, through the Games period we will produce approximately 60 hours of special programming. And this Olympic programing is over and above our normal 25 hours a week of local, live news," Henderson said.

"Since we are the official television station for the 2002 Winter Olympics, some of what we'll bring you will come from inside the fence of certain venues like here at the Medals Plaza, where tens of thousands of people will congregate every night. No other local station besides KSL will have access here.

"Also, inside the Delta Center - we have fiber optic camera and reporter positions, for our use, unless it's during an NBC covered event. And we have a similar arrangement inside the E-Center."

Add to that a live location on Park City's Main Street, one overlooking Olympic Stadium and a half dozen others, we'll do our best to put you where the story is.

"KSL will have 18 live crews, the ability to go live with 18 different crews at any given point during the day and night to cover the Olympics," Henderson said.

During the Olympics, you'll find KSL's coverage at these times:

During the regular Eyewitness News Today Broadcast, 5:30 to 7:00 a.m.

and Eyewitness News at Noon.

Then a special, daily, one-hour Olympics program, "Eyewitness to the Games" from 4:00 to 5:00 each afternoon and, during Eyewitness News at 5.

NBC takes over at that point, until 9:30 p.m., with our regular 10 p.m. newscast moved up a half hour.

Then, each night at 11:30, after more from NBC, we'll put you in the middle of at Salt Lake's Olympic party after dark, in SLC LIVE!

Already now, we're presenting an Olympic Countdown program each night at 10:35. The bottom line is, even with about 15 additional people on staff, we're working our tails off, and loving it.