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Dolphins sign Steinbach; Thursday Heat and UM recruiting update; and your Olympics TV primer

The Dolphins, worried about their situation at right guard, signed former All-Pro Eric Steinbach on Thursday.

He has started 124 of 125 NFL games but missed last season with a back injury. A friend said he's healthy but may need time to get rust off.

If healthy, he has a good chance to start ahead of Artis Hicks and John Jerry. But Steinbach has been given no indication if he will start. He also can play tackle and guard.

Steinbach, 32, played for Joe Philbin at Iowa and was Big 10 offensive lineman of the year in 2002, before being drafted 33rd overall in 2003. He played four years for the Bengals and spent the last five with the Browns. 

In his last season (2010), Pro Football Focus ranked his performance just 69th among 82 guards. He started all 16 games at left guard that season.

The Dolphins decided to sign him instead of Jake Scott, who PFF ranked seventh among all guards in 2011.

But the Dolphins were more impressed with Steinbach's workout than Scott's workout in June. And Steinbach fits well into Miami's zone blocking scheme.

Rookie guard Derek Dennis was waived to make room for him.

HEAT UPDATE

### Former Heat center Ronny Turiaf reportedly will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers for the $1.2 million minimum, furthering diminishing the available options if the Heat wants to add a veteran center as depth behind Chris Bosh, Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman.

Among power rotation players, here’s essentially what’s left on the unrestricted free agent market: Darko Milicic, Jermaine O’Neal (probably wouldn’t be happy with a very limited role), Chris Anderson, Mikki Moore, Jerome Jordan, Kyrylo Fesenko, Eddy Curry, Daniel Orton, Tony Battie, Erick Dampier, Dan Gadzuric, Joel Przybilla, Hassan Whiteside, Solomon Alabi, Jamaal Magloire and power forwards Andray Blatche, Carl Landry, Troy Murphy, Shelden Williams, Shawne Williams, Kenyon Martin, Donte Green, Craig Brackins and Yi Jianlian.

The Heat plans to have further internal discussions about whether to sign someone from that group, Mickell Gladness (who played for their summer league team after splitting last season between Miami and Golden State) or invite second-round rookie Justin Hamilton to training camp.

Milicic’s agent said Thursday there has been nothing new since an initial Heat inquiry more than a week ago.

### The NBA schedule will be announced at 7 p.m. Thursday. As you know, the Heat will open at home against Boston on Tuesday night, Oct. 30.

UM RECRUITING NEWS

Southridge High standout defensive back Jamal Carter orally committed to UM Thursday afternoon. Carter is rated the nation’s 18th-best safety and the 211th overall prospect by rivals.com.

UM now has 10 oral commitments for 2013.

 

OLYMPICS TV PRIMER

As far as pure volume and scope, no undertaking in television history rivals NBC Universal’s Olympic coverage that starts Friday across 10 platforms, including six TV networks.

The numbers are staggering: 5535 hours combined among NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, NBCOlympics.com, two specialty channels and the first-ever 3D platform.

Here’s some perspective: Sixteen years ago, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics were covered on just one channel, NBC, which aired 171 hours. By contrast, Spanish-language Telemundo will surpass that by two hours over the next 17 days.

The tonnage dwarfs NBC Universal’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics by nearly 2000 hours.

“If you put those 5535 hours across a linear platform, it would be 7 ½ months of continuous coverage,” NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said. “It’s a tremendous undertaking, to a level that’s never been done before.”

But what’s most viewer-friendly is this: For the first time, all Olympic events will be streamed live on the Internet (NBCOlympics.com). And much of the daytime coverage on NBC and the cable networks will be live. But NBC’s prime-time show will air on tape, because London is five hours ahead of U.S. East Coast time.

NBC decided that airing all the events live on the Internet, but saving most of the marquee ones to air on tape in prime time, would not diminish ratings.

“What we have found over the years is the more content we make available on the more platforms and the more accessible it is, the more interest there is in the Olympic prime time,” NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel said. “So we reached a conclusion we were going to make every event available on line.”

NBC, airing its seventh consecutive Olympics, expects more than 200 million viewers over the 17 days but doesn’t anticipate turning a profit on its $1.18 billion rights fee.

A quick primer on what to expect:

### NBC: Its 272.5 hours will include a prime-time show from 8 to 11:30 p.m. (longer on weekends); a late-night program (hosted by Mary Carillo, generally from midnight to 1 a.m.); and an expanded daytime show, which will start at 10 a.m. on weekdays and as early as 5 a.m. on weekends.

The prime time show, hosted for a ninth time by Bob Costas, will focus, as usual, on gymnastics, swimming, diving, track and field and beach volleyball.

Daytime coverage will feature those sports and others, including basketball, with Al Michaels and Dan Patrick sharing host duties.

### NBCOlympics.com:  All of the live broadcasts on NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo will be available on line, in addition to the world feed of all the live events not airing on any of the NBC networks. The Internet site also plans to carry the awarding of all 302 medals.

For the first time, there will be multiple concurrent streams for select sports, including gymnastics, track and field and tennis. At its peak, there will be 40 – 40! – simultaneous streams. Keep in mind that the on-line option will be available only to verified cable, satellite and telephone company customers.

The breadth of Internet coverage marks a shift for NBC, which sliced the number of live streams from 25 at the 2008 Beijing Games to two during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. But long-time former NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol has left the network since the Vancouver Olympics, and the new Comcast management team seems more eager to embrace technology and live streaming.

Two apps – one focused on live streaming, the other on short-form highlights and schedules and results – will be available to mobile and tablet users.

### NBC Sports Network: The cable channel, previously known as “Versus” until Jan. 1, will offer 292.5 hours of coverage of U.S. team sports, generally from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m., which covers the live Olympic day in London. The most prominent of the network’s three hosts: former ESPN personality Michelle Beadle, who handles overnights and mornings.   

### MSNBC: Will serve up 155.5 hours of long-form programming of 20 sports, including badminton, basketball, soccer and wrestling, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, longer on weekends. Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman anchors.

### CNBC: Will air 73 hours of boxing, including the debut of women’s boxing, from 5 to 8 p.m. daily, with longtime Los Angeles sportscaster Fred Roggin anchoring.

### Bravo: Will carry 56 hours of tennis from early mornings to mid-afternoons. Pat O’Brien was taken out of mothballs to host.

### Extras: Many cable, satellite and Telco providers will provide two specialty channels (one for men’s and women’s basketball and another for soccer, totaling 770 hours), as well as 242 hours of general Olympic coverage in 3-D.

### Telemundo: Its 173 hours will focus primarily on boxing, swimming, basketball and soccer. Popular soccer announcer Andres Cantor anchors.

### Final note: NBCOlympics.com will list what sports are available on what channels, and NBC’s cable channels promise to run that information on a scroll.

   

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