Couch Potato Alert!

NBC has the exclusive rights to the Atlanta Olympics, which they bought for a mere 456 million clams. As they say in the old country, "If NBC doesn't show it, you won't see it!"

According to the network's programming department in New York, the schedule has been drafted to appeal to the broadest number of viewers "based on research." Which means, for instance, that you probably won't be watching any soccer games besides portions of the men's final, which is scheduled to air on Sunday, August 4, at 12:30 a.m. (Of course, you could -- and should -- buy a ticket to one of the preliminary games to be played next week at the Orange Bowl.)

Doubtless, additional coverage will be dictated by tournament results; in other words, whatever U.S. competitors are winning, you'll see more of.

Though some creative satellite users may be able to capture the signals NBC beams to faraway lands, here are the official times the Olympics will be broadcast:

Friday, July 19: 8:00 p.m. to midnight (opening ceremonies)
Saturday, July 20: 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., 7:30 to midnight, and 12:30 to 2:00 a.m.

Sunday, July 21: noon to 6:00 p.m. (includes possible coverage of U.S. vs. Cuba women's basketball), 7:00 to midnight, and 12:30 to 2:00 a.m.

Monday, July 22 through Friday, July 26: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 7:30 to midnight, and 12:41 to 2:11 a.m.

Saturday, July 27: noon to 5:30 p.m., 6:30 to midnight, and 12:30 to 2:00 a.m.

Sunday, July 28: 7:00 to 10 a.m., noon to 6:00 p.m. (includes possible coverage of U.S. vs. Cuba baseball), 7:00 to midnight, and 12:30 to 2:00 a.m.

Monday, July 29 through Friday August 2: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 7:30 to midnight, and 12:41 to 2:11 a.m.

Saturday, August 3: noon to 6:00 p.m., 7:00 to midnight, and 12:30 to 2:00 a.m.

Sunday, August 4: 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. (includes closing ceremonies)

 
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