NBCUniversal to air 7,000 hours of Olympics coverage, as pandemic worries continue

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The logo of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is seen through signboards, in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Tokyo Olympic Games, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office building in Tokyo, Japan, January 22, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo/File Photo

June 8, 2021

By Sheila Dang

(Reuters) – Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal said on Monday it will air an “unprecedented” 7,000 hours of coverage for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics across its multiple television networks and streaming platform Peacock, even as most Japanese citizens continue to oppose holding the Games during the pandemic.

The Olympics, which have already been postponed by a year, are a marquee event for NBCUniversal to attract eyeballs, advertiser dollars and promote Peacock at a time when viewers are watching less live TV. The media company paid $7.65 billion to extend its U.S. broadcast rights for the Olympics through 2032.

Most of the Japanese public oppose holding the Olympics as the country struggles through another wave of COVID-19 infections, but half believe the Tokyo Olympics will still take place this summer, according to a survey released Monday.

The NBC broadcast network will air 17 consecutive nights of primetime coverage and 250 hours of the Games, NBCUniversal said.

The media company will also stream over 5,500 hours of the Olympics on NBCOlympics.com and its sports app.

A spokesperson for NBCUniversal said the company will cover all the new sports that will be featured during the Tokyo Olympics, including skateboarding, surfing and karate.

The Olympics will take place from July 23 to Aug. 8.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)