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NBCUniversal Promises 7,000 Hours of Programming for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Jeff Kotuby

NBCUniversal announced on Monday that it’s going to bring 7,000 hours of multi-channel coverage of the long-delayed 2000 Summer Olympic Games from Tokyo across its linear and digital media outlets.

Obviously, NBCUniversal’s coverage will revolve around Team USA, which has won more overall medals than any other nation at six consecutive Summer Games. However, NBCUniversal promises to deliver “the Games’ biggest events, most captivating stories, and unforgettable moments” which opens the door for compelling, multi-national content across NBC, NBC Sports Network, [USA], CNBC, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel, Telemundo, NBC Universo, NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports App, and Peacock.

Peacock

Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that gives access to up to 15,000 hours of content including original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series.

It will include news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.

Just like other streaming services, Peacock will have their own original series including reboots of Save By The Bell, Punky Brewster, and Battlestar Galactica. They also have shows like Rutherford Falls (Ed Helms), Dr. Death (Alec Baldwin), and a behind-the-scenes docs-series about Saturday Night Live.

The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like the entire Dick Wolf library including Law & Order and Chicago Fire, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.

The service will also feature blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.

What will each of these networks show? Here’s a glimpse at what each network will air, according to NBC:

NBC

The NBC broadcast network will once again be the backbone of NBCUniversal’s coverage, providing 17 consecutive nights of primetime coverage and 250 hours of the biggest stories of the Games. Similar to the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang in 2018, NBC will broadcast its primetime show live across all time zones with continuing coverage on Prime Plus (formerly the late-night show) following late local news. Prime West will also return for viewers in the Pacific time zone.

NBC will provide unprecedented coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 23, creating a full day of Olympic programming on NBC that culminates with the primetime presentation of the ceremony. The day will begin with the network’s first-ever live morning broadcast of an Opening Ceremony, followed by a special edition of “Today” and then NBC’s first-ever Olympic Daytime show on the opening Friday of the Games.

Primetime host Mike Tirico will keep viewers up to date about the action going on across the Games with live look-ins as the competition day plays out during primetime hours. Primetime will begin at 8 p.m. ET each night, except Sundays (7 p.m. ET), and will include significant coverage of live events.

Among the games shown on NBC’s broadcast channel are swimming, gymnastics, track & field, diving, beach volleyball, as well as both the men’s and women’s basketball finals — a first since Atlanta’s 1996 games.

NBCSN

NBCSN will televise 440 hours of Tokyo programming, once again the most Olympic coverage of any NBCU network. The 24/7 sports network will provide round-the-clock coverage throughout the Games, including soccer, softball, beach volleyball, table tennis, handball, badminton, fencing, and equestrian.

In fact, NBCSN will have Olympic coverage a full three days before the Opening Ceremony with live softball on Tuesday, July 20 (Wednesday, July 21, in Japan) from 8 PM until 2 AM EST, including Team USA vs. Italy. In primetime, NBCSN will re-air long-form coverage of U.S. team sports and other major team events.

USA Network

As NBC Sports Network starts its slow descent towards death, USA Network will begin cementing itself as a go-to station for live sports. Coverage kicks off with a blockbuster women’s soccer matchup at 4 AM EST on Wednesday, July 21, as Team USA takes on Sweden. The U.S. is the defending World Cup champion and ranked #1 in the world, but Sweden, currently ranked #5, eliminated the U.S. in the quarterfinal round at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Viewers will also get to see swimming, track & field, diving, beach volleyball, volleyball, cycling, triathlon, and team sports basketball, soccer, and water polo on USA Network, which, according to NBCUniversal, will provide round-the-clock Olympic coverage for the duration of the Tokyo Games.

CNBC

Yes, NBC is still airing sports on CNBC, but only after the business and financial programming is finished. You’ll get to see diving, beach volleyball, the new Olympic sport skateboarding, rowing, canoeing, archery, and team sports water polo, and rugby, then move seamlessly into “Shark Tank” re-runs before the stock market opens. On some days during the Games, the network will provide early morning coverage also.

The Olympic Channel

For the first time in its short existence, the Olympic Channel will host live sports programming. The Olympic Channel will be the exclusive home to the Olympic tennis and wrestling tournaments.

Tennis coverage takes place from Friday, July 23, to Sunday, Aug. 1. Gold medal matches will be played on the following dates:

  • Friday, July 30 – Men’s Doubles
  • Saturday, July 31 – Women’s Singles
  • Sunday, August 1 – Men’s Singles; Women’s Doubles; Mixed Doubles

Olympic Channel will have full-event coverage of the wrestling competition, which runs from Sunday, August 1, to Saturday, August 7. Medals will be awarded every day from August 2-7.

Golf Channel

NBC is using Golf Channel to air, well, golf! For the second consecutive Summer Games, Golf Channel will provide wall-to-wall coverage of the men’s and women’s Olympic golf competitions for 111 total hours. Golf returned to the Olympics in Rio in 2016 after more than a 100-year absence.

Live coverage of the men’s tournament will take place from 6:30 PM – 3:00 AM EST every night from July 28-31, with an extra 30 minutes following the final round. Coverage of the women’s tournament will be at the same time from August 3-6. Golf Channel will also air its own studio show — “Live From the Olympics” during their coverage.

Telemundo and NBC Universo

Telemundo will present 187 hours of live competitions and daily recap specials, while its cable sibling Universo will provide 122 hours of live coverage. The entire linear offering will also be available live via TelemundoDeportes.com and the Telemundo Deportes app. Coverage kicks off Wednesday, July 21 with the women’s soccer competition live on Universo at 3 AM EST.

The coverage will be authentic to the U.S. Hispanic audience, featuring most of the soccer action live and focusing on other relevant sports competitions including boxing, basketball, baseball, volleyball, and beach volleyball. In addition to Team USA, Telemundo Deportes will also highlight the Games’ biggest stories of Latin American Olympians, such as Mexico’s national soccer squad, Colombia’s BMX Gold Medalist winner Mariana Pajon, and Mexican diver and two-time Olympic Medalist Paola Espinoza.

Peacock

Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that gives access to up to 15,000 hours of content including original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series.

It will include news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.

Just like other streaming services, Peacock will have their own original series including reboots of Save By The Bell, Punky Brewster, and Battlestar Galactica. They also have shows like Rutherford Falls (Ed Helms), Dr. Death (Alec Baldwin), and a behind-the-scenes docs-series about Saturday Night Live.

The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like the entire Dick Wolf library including Law & Order and Chicago Fire, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.

The service will also feature blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.

NBC Sports Digital

The NBC Sports app will stream more than 5,500 hours of the Tokyo Olympics, including all 41 sports and 339 medal events, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and more. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will bring back the Gold Zone — their own version of NFL RedZone — providing whip-around coverage that will guide viewers to the best live action happening at a given moment. On most days, Gold Zone will stream from 8 PM – 2 AM EST.

In an Olympic first for NBC Sports Digital, a “Team USA Tracker” stream will be available for select competition sessions, allowing gymnastics fans to follow Team USA’s men’s and women’s gymnasts from apparatus to apparatus.

“After a devastating year, the world comes together again, finally, in Tokyo this summer,” said Molly Solomon, Executive Producer and President, NBC Olympics Production. “We are going to deliver the most comprehensive — and accessible — coverage for any sports event in history. The depth and breadth of our broadcasts will be unprecedented, showcasing once-in-a-generation athletes and storylines that will capture the incredible uniqueness of these Games and our times.”

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