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NBC is betting big on broadcast TV and its Peacock streaming service for its 2024 Paris Olympics coverage, as it embraces more live coverage of the summer games.
NBCUniversal said Thursday that it planned to stream all 2024 Olympics events live on Peacock next year, a first for the summer games (the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics only saw a handful of events streamed live). In addition, the company says that it will air at least nine hours of coverage during the daytime hours, including live coverage of the finals for key events like gymnastics, swimming, and track & field.
The company says that the 2024 Olympics will see the NBC broadcast network air more live programming than in any prior Olympics. Telemundo will, as usual, have exclusive Spanish-language rights.
At the same time, the company says it plans to offer an “enhanced” version of its traditional primetime show. In years past when time zones have proved challenging, NBC has held back on airing some key events live, instead saving them for primetime (when events could be shown live in primetime they were).
NBC, Peacock and Telemundo will also carry the opening ceremonies live.
While everything will stream live in 2024, and most if not all key events will also air live during the day, the primetime show is where “the stories of the day will be retold with special dramatic flair in front of the gathered American audience,” per NBC Sports chairman Pete Bevacqua. That will surely include the signature profiles of athletes like Katie Ledecky and Noah Lyles, as well as in-depth features.
NBCU isn’t abandoning cable TV, it says that USA, E!, CNBC, and Golf Channel will also televise live coverage, with details to be shared later on, but it seems clear that Peacock and NBC are the hub of the games, with everything else acting as spokes.
“For those wanting to watch the competition as it happens, Peacock will have everything live, creating the greatest single destination in sports media history,” Bevacqua says. “From the spectacular landmarks of Paris to the world’s greatest athletes performing in front of full stadiums and arenas for the first time in six years, viewers can expect one of the most extraordinary Olympics ever.”
The Paris games are in many ways a made-for-TV event, even more so that prior Olympics. The opening ceremony will be held on the River Seine, where a flotilla of boats will transport athletes and performers past grandstands of spectators. And many events will be held in locations made for TV, including beach volleyball courts at the foot of the Eiffel Tower; equestrian competitions at the Palace of Versailles; and surfing competitions in Tahiti, nearly 10,000 miles away from Paris in French Polynesia.
With the 2024 Olympics plan, NBC is betting that it can lean into sports as a strength for Peacock. The service also has Sunday Night Football, an MLB games package, Premier League soccer, IndyCar races, PGA Tour golf and WWE flagship events, among others.
“Peacock is bringing the rich history of these incredible games to our viewers like never before, providing unparalleled and unprecedented access to one of the world’s greatest sporting events,” adds Kelly Campbell, president of Peacock and direct to consumer for NBCUniversal. “Already home to more live sports than any other SVOD service, Peacock is proud to be the streaming home of Team USA and all of their passionate fans.”
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