Peacock’s 2020 launch was actually meant to coincide with the Olympics, which were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the streaming service will play a major role in Comcast-owned NBC Sports coverage of the Tokyo Games, continuing the competition doesn’t mean things will return to normal.
In a conference call earlier this month, Olympic Games executive producer Molly Solomon said the coverage would “bring viewers closer to the athlete’s experience here in Tokyo than ever before.”
The sheer volume of programming—starting with the opening ceremony on July 23 and ending on August 8—will be staggering and, according to NBC, unprecedented. The focus on live coverage will include for the first time the opening ceremony, which will be broadcast in the US in the morning due to the time difference, featuring talent from NBC’s “Today” show, and repeated later in the day.
In linear form, coverage will spread across NBC and eight other Comcast-owned cable channels, including US, CNBC, NBC Sports Network and Telemundo. The menu will span over 7,000 hours in total and span 35 sports, with NBC being the home of highlights and top events.
As usual, NBC’s primetime coverage will be heavily packed and focused on traditional viewer favorites such as gymnastics, diving and track and field. Both the men’s and women’s gold medal games will also be broadcast in prime time (a first for the latter) on August 6 and 7, respectively.
In terms of expanded coverage, sports will be assigned to different channels, with basketball on CNBC for example. Peacock will offer a block of live coverage each morning, including athletics and gymnastics. Some sports start before the opening ceremony, such as women’s soccer, and the US-Sweden match will be broadcast in the US on July 21.
Those without cable can still access the Games through the aforementioned streaming options, the NBC Sports app, or various subscription services that offer live TV options, including Hulu, YouTube, and NewsMadura parent AT&T.
Certain providers also promote the availability of Olympic broadcasts in Ultra HD, which provides enhanced high-resolution picture quality.