Figure skating to air live on TV from Sochi Games

Tony Avelar/APMichael Phelps swims in the 200-meter individual medley final during the Santa Clara International Grand Prix swim meet Sunday.

The first full day of February’s Sochi Olympics, American television viewers can watch a marquee event live from Russia — in the morning.

In a shift from NBC’s coverage of past games outside North America, nearly every figure skating performance will air on cable during the day, with the key moments shown on tape delay on the main network that night as in previous Olympics.

So if fans want to, they’ll see the women’s gold-medal-winning performance on NBCSN when it happens, instead of waiting until that evening. But they can also watch it again hours later, accompanied by the polished features that are the staple of NBC’s prime-time broadcasts.

For years, the network’s argument for holding back the most high-profile events was that nighttime is when the most people are free to watch TV — and when advertisers and local affiliates benefit most. In one sense, nothing has changed.

“First and foremost, our mission is to protect prime time — that’s still the No. 1 priority,” said Jim Bell, the executive producer for NBC Olympics.

Olympic hopeful Yater-Wallace has rib injury: U.S. freestyle skier Torin Yater-Wallace is dealing with broken ribs and could miss the 2014 Winter Olympics. The 18-year-old American halfpipe skier was hospitalized for the second time this month when he fell during a practice for a Dew Tour event last weekend.

White to skip halfpipe at qualifier: Shaun White will only compete in slopestyle at this week’s World Cup snowboarding event, choosing to skip the halfpipe contest as he tries to get his ailing left ankle back to 100 percent. The two-time defending Olympic gold medalist hurt the ankle last Saturday on the halfpipe at the Dew Tour.

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