Matt Lauer on anchor desk for Olympics

Will co-anchor opening ceremony with Bob Costas

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NEW YORK -- "Today" co-host Matt Lauer, already in China for his daily gig, will co-anchor with Bob Costas coverage of Friday's Olympics opening ceremony.

NBC said Sunday that the coverage of the tape-delayed event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday instead of the previously planned 8 p.m. Costas and Lauer will be joined by NBC's Andrea Joyce, Bob Neumeier, Richard Engel and Peter Alexander.

During the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy, "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams was co-host of the opening ceremonies. And in previous Olympics, former "Today" co-host Katie Couric had worked with Costas.

Not that Lauer is an Olympics rookie. He has worked six Olympics for NBC. Costas will work eight for the sports division, including seven as primetime host.

Meanwhile, NBC Universal said that it had reached deals with a number of cable companies to provide VOD, HD, broadband and other Olympics-related content. Included are Time Warner Cable, Comcast Cable, Cox Communications, Mediacom and Bright House Communications.

The VOD offerings include daily sports highlights plus some of the most interesting events, along with 225 hours on NBC HD and 379 of simulcasts of CNBC and MSBC coverage, along with other HD content.