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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Your Guide to the Games

Follow me to Greenwich Park: Line of traffic inches through the town of Greenwich near the 2012 Olympic equestrian venue. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.
Greetings from London! The 2012 Olympic Games commence tomorrow with the opening ceremony. Are you ready?

Some of you have been asking how to watch the equestrian competition. First off, no, it won't be broadcast on the US Equestrian Federation streaming network (NBC controls all US broadcast rights). And no, don't expect to see lots of equestrian coverage on your local NBC TV network, although NBC will be broadcasting the opening ceremony, which begins at 9:00 p.m. London time on Friday, July 27. (London is five hours ahead of the Eastern time zone.)

Fortunately, for the first time ever, NBC Universal and its Comcast subsidiary will be live-streaming all 32 Olympic summer sports. It's free, but you need to register and get your account set up in advance. (You also need access to an Internet-enabled computer, laptop, or mobile device.) USDF members, I detailed the process in the July/August issue of USDF Connection. If you missed that issue, here's what you need to do.

Verify your eligibility. Registrants for the live-streaming service must be current subscribers in good standing to a pay-TV service (cable, satellite, or "telco") that carries the channels MSNBC and CNBC. Gather your provider name and account number, and then:

Go to Click on the "Live Extra" link (the "Click Here & Get Ready" red button on the home page). Follow the steps for selecting your TV provider, registering your account, and creating a login. NBC promises that then all you'll have to do is log in before your desired competition starts, select it, and enjoy.

For tablets and smartphones. The NBCOlympics Live Extra app will enable you to live-stream Olympic coverage to your Internet-enabled mobile device. Download the appropriate app and follow the instructions to set up access.

Coverage minus streaming.'s "On the Go" page is also the download source for the NBC Olympics mobile website and mobile apps. Use these as your mobile guide to schedules, news, results, and coverage listings. You'll also be able to access selected Olympics photos and video.

Equestrian Competition Schedule

You'll have to get up early to catch some of these live, although replay will be available on the NBC Olympics site, according to the "Live Extra" usage instructions.

The three Olympic equestrian disciplines (eventing, dressage, and jumping, scheduled in that order) overlap one another a bit on the calendar, although competition never runs concurrently. Times given are London local time. Schedule source: FEI.

July 27: First horse inspection, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
July 28: Team and individual dressage, 10:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
July 29: Team and individual dressage, 10:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
July 30: Cross-country, 12:30 p.m.-5:40 p.m.
July 31: Second horse inspection, 8:15 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
              Team final jumping: 10:30 a.m.-1:10 p.m.
               Individual final jumping: 2:30 p.m.-3:35 p.m.
July 31: Horse inspection, 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
August 2: FEI Grand Prix, 11:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
August 3: FEI Grand Prix, 11:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
August 7: Olympic Grand Prix Special (team medal final), 10:00 a.m.-4:25 p.m.
August 9: FEI Grand Prix Freestyle (individual medal final): 12:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
August 2: First horse inspection, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
August 4: First qualifier, 10:30 a.m.-2:05 p.m.
August 5: Second individual qualifier/team competition round 1, 11:00 a.m.-2:15 p.m.
August 6: Third individual qualifier/team medal final, 2:00 p.m.-4:45 p.m.
August 8:  Second horse inspection, 9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m.
                  Individual round A, 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
                  Individual round B/individual medal final, 2:45 p.m.-4:05 p.m.
Happy viewing! We equestrian-media folks are prepping our cameras for tomorrow's first eventing horse inspection. I'll post news and photos tomorrow. Cheerio from London!

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