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American Forces Network television plans to air nearly 600 hours of coverage of the XXIX Summer Olympic Games in Beijing by NBC and its affiliates.

That’s nearly one-sixth of the record 3,600 hours that NBC and its cable and Internet partners are slated to provide from Beijing, and the most hours that AFN has ever carried during any Olympic Games, AFN officials said.

"We’re delighted to present the best of NBC’s extensive coverage of the Olympics," Larry Marotta, AFN’s television chief, said in a recent release. "We know that our viewers will be glued to their sets during the special two weeks in August."

Viewers from Kaiserslautern to Kandahar to Kunsan will see a daily average of 12 hours of coverage on AFN-Sports, 10 hours on AFN-Xtra, eight hours on each of AFN’s prime channels and two hours of tape-delayed coverage on AFN-Spectrum.

AFN’s director of industry liaison, Tom Weber, worked for months to obtain clearance for AFN to air the Olympic coverage. He expressed thanks to NBC, the International Olympic Committee and host-country TV rights holders.

"Without their collective support and understanding of the AFN worldwide military broadcasting mission, distribution of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Summer Games to our well-deserving audience would not be possible," Weber said.

The Summer Olympic Games run from Aug. 8-24 in Beijing, the first time the Games will take place in China.

Some regular programming on AFN’s eight signals will be affected, AFN officials said. Some shows will be shifted to different times, while others, produced by NBC and its partners, will be preempted during the Games.

A World Wide Web link to AFN’s Olympic Games TV schedule will soon be available, at http://www.olympics.myafn.net.

NBC, which has telecast every Olympic Games except one since 1988, plans to offer 3,600 of coverage via 12 sources, including cable partners CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Telemundo and Oxygen. It will also stream 2,200 hours on http://www.NBCOlympics.com.


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