The Winter Olympics 2014 commences on Friday with the Opening Ceremony set to take place today in front of a worldwide audience of millions. This Winter Olympics is being reported as being the most expensive in the history of the event, costing more than all previous Winter Olympic Games combined.
The Sochi Olympics has been under the spotlight for various non-sport reasons over recent months, however, finally the thousands of athletes will be able to switch the focus to the real purpose of the Games - the sports.
The Winter Olympics 2014 schedule will be packed and viewers can watch the Games on TV on the NBC network or online through free live stream (details below).
Some events are set to commence on Thursday Feb. 6, 2014, although the Opening Ceremony will not take place until Friday Feb. 7, 2014. NBC will be providing full coverage for the Games in the United States, with the network utilizing CNBC, MSNBC, the NBC Sports Network and NBCOlympics.com to provide its widespread coverage from Sochi, Russia.
NBC TV coverage will commence at 8 p.m. ET on February 6, with Bob Costas hosting the coverage for the network. The network has also promised that it will bring coverage of every event at the Winter Olympics to viewers via its site at NBCOlympics.com. NBC is also providing a mobile app, with iPhone and iPad iOS, and Android versions available from the respective App Store and Play Store.
The Opening Ceremony is sure to draw millions across the globe, however, NBC has decided against providing live coverage of the ceremony, which will start at 11 a.m. ET on Feb. 7, 2014.
Instead NBC will be targeting a primetime audience in the United States and will offer highlights coverage on TV with Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira from 7.30 p.m. ET until 11.30 p.m. ET on Friday Feb. 7.
Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group has attempted to explain the decision not to offer live coverage of the Opening Ceremony, saying: "We want to put context to it, with the full pageantry it deserves."
He added, "We are looking to maximize the viewing experience for our audience."
Athletes from 88 countries will be gathering in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics and total viewership of the event is expected to be higher than the 2009 Vancouver Olympics when 190 million tuned in.
Local TV listings can be found for U.S. viewers by clicking here.
Coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 can be seen on NBC or online through free live stream by clicking here.