Aspen Winternational 2011

The cameras have barely switched off from the London summer Olympics, but the U.S. Ski Team and NBC have announced a partnership for first-ever live coverage of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup from Aspen and Beaver Creek, Colo.

 

Coverage is set for Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 24-25) at the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational, featuring Lindsey Vonn and Julie Mancuso. It moves to Beaver Creek and the Audi World Cup Birds of Prey the following week (Nov. 30-Dec. 2) where Ted Ligety and Bode Miller will be the draw.

 

U.S. World Cup events have been taped, edited, and broadcast at a later date for years, so it’s clear NBC and the Ski Team are beginning the two-year hype trail to Sochi, Russia, which will be held in 2014 with a welcome aggressiveness.

 

“Live broadcasting of the Audi FIS World Cup from Aspen and Beaver Creek is an historic step for our organization and our partner, the NBC Sports Network,” says Bill Marolt, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association. “This first-ever live coverage will help create greater relevance for our sport and great stars.”

 

All in all, NBC will produce 11 hours of coverage on the parent network and another 22 hours on the NBC Sports Network, including alpine ski racing, freeskiing, freestyle, and snowboarding.

 

Viewers will get an eyeful at Aspen, Beaver Creek, Telluride, and Copper Mt., Colo; Lake Placid, N.Y.; Deer Valley and Canyons in Utah; Squaw Valley and Heavenly in Calif.

 

The schedule includes the most extensive same day or same weekend coverage ever. The two alpine events will be live. while coverage of the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix from Utah and Colorado will be shown the next day. 

 

What It Means: It seems nothing short of amazing that it took all these years to finally get live network coverage of World Cup events in the U.S. Credit new USSSA Chief Marketing Officer Mike Jacquet for this one.

 

Photo: Nature Valley Aspen Winternational, 2011. (USST/Smugmug.com)