Official opening of the Tokyo Olympics, a year delayed, is now possible with NBC's telecast on July 23. It will be live in the morning and in primetime.
In Japan, the Olympics are rife with negative vibes and there is a COVID-19 emergency. Most Japanese citizens have not been vaccinated against the virus, and many wish that the Olympics were cancelled. The majority of events will take place in empty venues. After a positive marijuana test, Sha'Carri Richardson, a star sprinter, was expelled from the U.S. team. The U.S. men’s basketball team also suffered embarrassing exhibition losses against Australia and Nigeria.
NBC hopes that once the competition starts, a COVID-weary United States will embrace the Games.
Molly Solomon, executive producer for NBC's Olympics coverage, stated that "I believe people want a shared experience after everything we've gone through."
NBC will not be held responsible if you miss any of the coverage. There will be more than 7,000 hours coverage of the Olympics on NBC and cable outlets like USA, NBCSN and NBCOlympics.com as well as the Peacock streaming service on Twitch and Snap.
It is hard to predict the length of COVID’s shadow.
It's difficult to believe that NBC Universal, which will pay $7.75 billion for the Olympics broadcast between 2022-2032, did not give the go-ahead to the International Olympic Committee. Mike Wise did not exempt NBC from his criticisms of it in a Washington Post column this Week.
Solomon responded to questions about the issue by saying, "If there's an Olympic Games, as the American broadcaster we're going be here to cover the stories of those games."
Lester Holt, NBC News anchor, will report on the COVID-19 restrictions and concerns that were placed upon participants during the opening ceremonies.
"You would hope (NBC) would be willing... to step out of the Olympics bubble... and talk to everyday Japanese people to hear their opinions," Jules Boykoff, a Pacific University professor who wrote "Power Games: A Politic History of the Olympics", was critical of the decision to continue with the games.
It is not clear how much Holt will need after opening night. A determined optimist would not believe that any athlete will contract the virus or be exposed to it. It is not clear if it will occur often enough to disrupt the schedule.
NBC tends not to cover the Olympics in a formal manner and keeps the focus on the sports. Pre-games concerns are often forgotten once the games begin. Remember the Zika virus. Are you worried about terrorist attacks in London
Recent surveys indicated that there is not much public interest in the games. According to John Affleck, Penn State University professor of sports journalism, COVID restrictions will reduce the number of reporters available to cover the event, which will eliminate some avenues for attention.
NBC views anticipation levels as meaningless until Olympians are in the starting blocks. Andy Billings is the director of the University of Alabama's sports communications program. He said he sees positive indicators for NBC in the attention given to the televised Olympic team trials.
NBC is trying to address the problem of a lack of a live audience.
The company stated that it will not use fake crowd noise. Solomon explained that this is a technicality because the Olympic Broadcasting Service (NBC) provides audio and video feeds for events. Solomon stated that they are trying to create an atmosphere for athletes so there's no crowd noise or presence.
She said that NBC wants to amplify the sounds of competition, such as the splash of water and the interaction between coach, athlete, to give viewers the feeling of being there.
NBC will attempt to recreate the broadcast staple of a cutaway for nervous parents in the stands.
NBC's prime time coverage will be almost entirely devoted to swimming, diving, track and fields, gymnastics, and beach volleyball as in the past. Some exceptions will be made, such as the gold medal games for men's and ladies' basketball.
The lack of variety is no longer a problem as there are many other options for entertainment. There is limited coverage of live events in the evening because Tokyo is thirteen hours ahead of the Eastern United States and 16 hours ahead the West.
All the consumer options offer NBC Universal additional ways to make money. NBC prime-time ratings won't be the only determinant of financial success, but they will still play a significant role.
Just before the March 2020 pandemic shutdown, NBC Universal reported that it had sold a record $1.25 Billion in advertising time for its games. The games were originally scheduled for four more months. NBC Universal did not update this figure after the games were rescheduled. According to NBC Universal, it anticipates exceeding advertising sales from the Summer Games in 2016, with more advertisers than any other Olympics.
Alabama's Billings stated, "If they breakeven, that is a great achievement." "If you are able to not lose money while still generating a large number of new subscribers for Peacock from people looking it up, that's a tremendous promotion for what they likely see as the future television."
Peacock is this year's latest trend. 42 million people have signed up for the service to compete in a streaming market dominated by Netflix, Disney and other companies. It is available for free or customers can choose between $5 and $10 plans that offer more content and less ads.
It will experiment with Olympics content, most of which is highlight-based. However, it will also offer some live streams or on demand for certain events. Access to live U.S. basketball matches is available with the $5 option. Customers can still access the majority of content on the NBCOlympics.com site.
The opening ceremony was preceded by the first U.S. competition: a softball match against Italy will be broadcast on NBCSN Tuesday night.
Ato Boldon, a former track & field Olympian, stated that he didn't feel any anxiety as he was about to leave for Japan, despite the COVID-19 emergency.
He said, "I am aware that this is not going be a typical Olympic Games." "But it still serves its purpose, not only in the sporting landscape but also in the human landscape."