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Olympic event: How much TV coverage can we watch?

Dale Roe
You can follow Katie Uhlaender on Twitter as she competes for in the women's skeleton race beginning Thursday.

NBC and its networks have scheduled 835 hours of Olympics coverage. My U-verse DVR is capable of recording up to 233 hours of standard definition or 65 hours of high-definition content, so how am I going to watch it all?

I'm not. Short of detonating a nuke on a Pacific island and spinning off a version of myself into an alternate time line (sorry — I'm still caught up in the mind-bending new season of "Lost"), I'm going to have to be selective — cross-country skiing, it was nice knowing you.

The Opening Ceremony (coverage begins Friday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m., with the ceremony starting at 8 p.m. on NBC) is, of course, a must — but how to plan beyond that? NBC has split up its content among local network affiliate KXAN; the USA Network; MSNBC; CNBC; and Universal Sports TV.

Complete listings can be found at www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings, but here's the basic breakdown of where to watch for what:

KXAN will air nearly 200 hours of coverage including the Opening Ceremony. Other events include figure skating, speed skating, curling, Alpine skiing, luge and ski jumping.

USA will feature hockey and curling matches.

MSNBC will run more than 30 live hockey and curling matches as well as late-night replays of earlier live broadcasts.

CNBC plans to air at least 24 hockey games and 18 curling matches.

Universal Sports features news, highlights, round tables and analysis (this network is not available in the Austin market, but some content might be available on the network's Web site, www.universalsports.com).

KXAN, which sent a crew to the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, is not sending any local talent to the Great White North this year, citing a dearth of local athletes participating.

Stay alert

If you check the television listings at nbcolympics.com, there's a handy feature that allows you to click a button reading "! ALERT ME." You can schedule these reminders for delivery via e-mail or mobile telephone.

Are individual event alerts not specific enough for you? Surf on over to www.nbcolympics.com/alerts/index.htmx and sign up for any of around 70 alerts including video, photo and notices for individual athletes you might want to follow.

NBC promises apps delivering news, live results, video and more for the iPhone and Blackberry "soon." In the meantime, you can direct your smart phone's Web browser to nbcolympics.com for a lot of great stuff, including a current medal count.

Finally, you can subscribe to RSS feeds, which will deliver Olympic news to your mobile device or computer's news reader, by heading to www.nbcolympics.com/rss/ and clicking on the RSS button next to the category you wish to follow.

Where it's @

  • @chadhedrick. The speed skater from Spring is an Olympic gold, silver and bronze medalist and multiple world-record holder.
  • Sample tweet: "Just getting my day started here in Vancouver- the sun is shining in my hotel window. Great start!!!!!!!!"
  • @J2K111. Jordan Malone, Denton's most famous World Cup medalist, is the only short track skater in the U.S. to compete in all of the past five World Championship events.
  • Sample tweet: "Choose between tomorrow and yesterday... And stick with it."
  • @shotime2010. El Paso native and Longhorns fan Sho Kashima pulled out of the upcoming games after damaging his knee in a January training crash.
  • Sample tweet: "just washed my hair and face... wondering if i'll be able to fully shower soon."
  • @KatieU11. A former McGregor resident — she was the only girl on her high school's baseball team — Katie Uhlaender is a Women's Skeleton World Cup champion and a veteran of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino.
  • Sample tweet: "Enjoying 75 degrees in utah! thought I was in a winter sport? plan on watching the ball game from my hot tub tonight....so happy!"

Must ski TV

Everybody loves figure skating and ski jumping, and hockey has its fans. But here are two often-overlooked events you don't want to miss.

The biathlon: Yeah, there's cross-country skiing involved, which means you might want to nod off, but the crisp cracks of the .22-caliber small-bore rifle shots will periodically wake you up. That's right — there are guns involved in this event, which makes it mandatory viewing for any Texan. NBC says that the Biathlon was introduced as a military exercise in 1924's inaugural Olympic Winter Games, but I prefer to think that everybody involved just decided that the most boring of skiing contests could be livened up with live ordnance whizzing around.

The skeleton: OK, so this is really just sledding on your tummy, but it's called the Skeleton! How cool is that? Plus, it's the one event you can realistically tell your kids they can compete in when they grow up. Finally, it's really cool that somebody is going to be able to respond to the question "What's that?" by answering, "It's my Skeleton medal."