The Olympics is about to take over the telly and will be turning up everywhere from Sky's comedy central channel through to blanket coverage on free-to-air network Prime TV.

For those who want to tune into the Olympics but don't have Sky, there will be free-to-air coverage of the games on Prime.

The Sky-owned network has put its regular programming on hold for the duration of the Olympics to cover the games.

Though it will not be as comprehensive as Sky's coverage - which has eight dedicated Olympic channels - the free-to-air viewing will include key sports, many of the events featuring Kiwi athletes, as well as previews and highlights packages.


The coverage starts at 7am on Saturday, July 28 with the Olympics Opening Ceremony. The sporting coverage kicks off later that night with rowing, the men's cycling road race, swimming, and highlights from the equestrian three-day competition.

Leading the presenting team will be Eric Young, who previews the day's upcoming action as well as hosting live coverage from 8pm every night.

Veteran sports broadcaster Clint Brown does the graveyard shift from 10.30pm until 8am, following the action throughout the day in London.

During New Zealand's daylight hours, Melodie Robinson and Scotty Stevenson share the load, presenting highlights, previews and updates on local competitors.

TV3 and TV One do not have rights to the Olympics but will cover the games through their news programmes, with TV3 placing special emphasis on coverage during Firstline at 6am, with Mike McRoberts and Michelle Pickles leading the reports from London.

Comedy Central also gets in on the Olympics act with new series Olympico (Wednesdays, 9pm, from August 1) where cheeky sports nut and satirist Leigh Hart teams up with expert armchair critics Jeremy Wells and Jason Hoyte to "cover the Games in a way that has never been seen before". Which basically means the trio go about whipping up as much "unexpected mayhem" as they bring you "in-depth, irreverent and irrelevant" coverage of the Games.

Also, Prime's satirical sports show The Crowd Goes Wild will screen at 7.30pm seven days a week during the Olympics. During that time co-host Andrew Mulligan and roving reporter James McOnie will be getting up to mischief in London, while Mark Richardson and Hayley Holt anchor the show from Auckland.

- TimeOut