US television coverage of the Summer Olympics has been controversial since the dawn of the Internet. The games were held in Atlanta in 1996, so the most popular events were shown in real-time, in primetime. In 2000, the Summer Olympics shifted to Greece, followed by Sydney in 2004 and Beijing in 2008. In these three cases, most of the prime events were held in mid-day in the United States; because of 24-hour cable television and the Internet, results were widely broadcast, yet they were not shown on television until late evening in the United States.
For the 2012 London Olympics, NBC is beginning to give up the ghost on this, driven in part by a mere 5-hour time difference between London and NYC, and the increasing prevalence of broadband Internet. NBC knows that when soccer matches are played at 7 am, the television audience will have little interest in seeing a replay of the game at 9 pm. Thus, NBC is using its entire network of broadcast and cable television channels to show more events than ever before in real-time.
This means that many important events will be shown on NBC and its cable networks as early as 7 am NYC time. In particular, many of the men’s and women’s soccer matches will be shown at 7 am or 10:30 am. This will likely leave many visitors wondering which NYC bars open early for the Olympics. Because Mustang Sally’s has developed a large and loyal base of sports and soccer fans, it will open at 7 am each day from July 28 through August 12. It will offer a special breakfast menu, will begin pouring drinks at 8 a.m., and will offer its regular menu plus food and drink specials at its regular opening time of 10:30 am. Without a doubt, Mustang Sally’s will be the best bar to watch to Olympics in NYC.
For a broad schedule of events, see the NBC Olympics schedule.