NBCUniversal’s efforts to broadcast the spectacle of the Olympics have long faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge: How to telecast sporting events that often take place in odd parts of the day?
In 2024, the answer is easy: Just put them on when they happen.
NBC plans to pre-empt at least nine hours of its daytime schedule each day of its broadcast of the 2024 Paris Olympics, slated to take place between July 26 and August 11, 2024. Paris time is six hours ahead of the US eastern time zone , but NBC’s daytime coverage will feature the most popular live events in the morning and afternoon. The network will then deliver a three-hour primetime show that curates big events with behind-the-scenes coverage and inside looks at the athletes. The company’s Peacock streaming hub henceforth, will stream every sport and event, including all 329 medal events, and will feature full-event replays; all NBC programming; curated video clips; virtual channels; exclusive original
programming; and more.
NBCUniversal said it believes the Paris Olympics “will have more programming hours on the NBC broadcast network than any previous Olympics.” The company did not provide details on whether Olympics coverage would disrupt any hours of NBC’s “Today” morning programming.
NBCU and its parent, Comcast have invested heavily in US rights to the Olympics broadcasts, having agreed to pay $7.75 billion for broadcast rights to the events between 2021 and 2032. Over the years, however, the companies have had to grapple with new viewing habits spurred by the availability of streaming, forcing NBC to balance between the desire of fans to watch the Olympics as they wish with the need to generate millions in profit to offset the heavy fees. The typical way to do that is to charge advertisers a high sum to put their commercials in front of large, live audiences. Streaming, however, undercuts those efforts.
Other pieces of the NBCU portfolio will also take part, with Telemundo and Universo providing Spanish-language coverage and USA Network, E!, CNBC and Golf Channel also participating.
The 2024 Summer Games will be the first to take place out from under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers have plans to make the event more accessible to the public, with some competitions to be held alongside iconic Parisian landmarks. Beach volleyball, for example, will take place at the Eiffel Tower and urban sports will be held at the Place de la Concorde. The surfing competition will take place nearly 10,000 miles from Paris in Tahiti, a part of French Polynesia.
NBC, Peacock, and Telemundo will all present live coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday,
July 26, 2024. Instead of having the spectacle take place in a stadium, backers will send athletes on a four-mile-long flotilla down the River Seine, with spectators seated on the river’s banks.