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>> The Olympics have long been TV ratings gold, prompting rival networks to wave the white flag by airing reruns and other inexpensive shows. But this summer's games in Rio bring a more level playing field, not for the athletes but for the programmers who suddenly feel emboldened to take on Olympic host, NBC.
Reuters' Jessica Toonkel explains.>> So this year, for the first time, some networks are actually pitting new shows or their most popular shows up against the Olympics. Now, the network executives realize more people are watching through video on demand, either through their cable or through their apps. So they wanna make sure that they're constantly providing new shows and things to keep them engaged.
>> CBS has high hopes for Brain Dead, a new political comedy from the creators of The Good Wife.>> God, I hate politics.>> As well as American Gothic, a murder mystery centered around a prominent Boston family.>> You're a grenade.>> Then maybe you should handle me carefully.
>> Both series premiering this summer. Not to be outdone, the Discovery Channel is bringing back its popular series Naked and Afraid XL.>> Hey, you're naked!>> I misplaced my fig leaf this morning.>> A reality show in which contestants try to survive in the wilderness with little else but their birthday suits.
In fact, Discovery plans to air 23 hours of new programming against the games. That's up from 9 four years ago, and it's a potential opportunity for late summer advertisers.>> So you have back-to-school retailers, August is a hot time for them. They wanna get in front of consumers.
And then there's also advertisers that didn't want to fork up the money to sponsor the Olympics and they're looking for other opportunities.>> Still, not everyone's ready to risk taking on Rio, with Fox saying it will still sit this one out with reruns, as ratings for NBC are expected to smash the record numbers set by the London games four years ago