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  • A First for Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony


    (ATR) NBC Olympics will be giving the Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony unprecedented coverage.

    Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony will be live in the morning to the USA. (NBC Sports Group)
    For the first time, the network will air a live morning broadcast of an Opening Ceremony. The event will then be followed by a special edition of TODAY, NBC’s long-running morning show. The first-ever Olympic Daytime show to air on the opening Friday of the Games is after that with the traditional primetime broadcast to follow in the evening.

    The Opening Ceremony begins at 8 p.m. in Japan, which means it will start at 7 a.m. in the eastern time zone and 4 a.m. in the Pacific time zone in the United States.

    “Following the unprecedented challenges presented by the global pandemic, the world will come together in Tokyo for what could be the most meaningful and anticipated Opening Ceremony ever,” Pete Bevacqua, NBC Sports Group chairman, said in a statement.

    “Given the magnitude of this event, we want to provide viewers with as many ways to connect to it as possible, live or in primetime.”

    This will be the first time that NBC has shown an Opening Ceremony live for an Olympics that has been held outside North America.

    The last Summer Games Opening Ceremony to be broadcast live was Atlanta 1996. Unlike Atlanta, which was live across all time zones, Salt Lake City 2002 and Vancouver 2010 were shown live to only parts of the country.

    The Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony was shown on a delay to the U.S. audience. (ATR)
    For many years NBC has been criticized for delaying ceremonies and competitions for broadcast television until primetime hours in the U.S.

    The network showed the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony on delay despite Rio de Janeiro being only one hour ahead of the U.S. east coast. Airing the entire event in primetime meant a one hour delay for east coast viewers and four hours for those on the west coast.

    NBC did live stream the ceremonies at PyeongChang 2018 before showing them during primetime.

    Live streaming of all Olympic competition began at London 2012.

    For Tokyo, there will be live streaming of all sports on the NBCOlympics website. NBC plans more than 7,000 hours of coverage across its many networks.

    More information on broadcast, digital, and streaming plans for Tokyo 2020 will be announced at a later date.

    Written by Gerard Farek

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