(ATR) For the first time the Olympic opening ceremony will be streamed live online in real time.
NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell told Around the Rings
that the network will “take it under consideration” to determine if the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremonies will be broadcast on live television.
Bell spoke to reporters on a conference call with NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel, and the co-hosts for the 2018 Opening Ceremony Mike Tirico and Katie Couric. Tirico will be the main anchor for NBC’s daytime coverage and Couric is hosting her third opening ceremony.
“The stream of the opening ceremony, it just felt like the last thing that wasn’t live,” Bell said. “I suppose like any other thing that we do that is new at an Olympics we’ll take it under consideration. It’s a little early to tell about how that would impact Tokyo or Beijing, given the approximate time zones it would likely be there for a more apples to apples comparison.”
Bell said on the call that the time zones in South Korea “works really great for live” broadcasts. He said there are many marquee event finals that take place at 10 am Korea time, allowing for primetime broadcasts in the U.S.
In addition to streaming the opening ceremony live, NBC will also broadcast its primetime coverage live in all time zones simultaneously. That way social media will not outpace the broadcast.
Ceremonies Anchors Set
Tirico and Couric said the excitement for hosting the Olympics has set in, but both are in a time crunch to finish preparations.
Still, both told reporters they are ready to highlight human interest stories that should dominate an Olympics flush with new story lines.
Couric said she’s looking forward showcasing the “heart and humanity” of the Games, while “domestic politics take a backseat”. For Tirico, he says he will rely on the experience of Couric when preparing these last three weeks.
“It's a little bit of sports and news and geopolitical climate, and fashion and culture and music, and celebrating athletes great stories,” Tirico said. “I can’t think of anyone better who has expertise in all those areas than Katie.”
Even as the anchors lauded the unifying nature of the Olympics, both told ATR
that if U.S. or other athletes would protest at the Games that it would be covered. Couric said she did not think NBC would “ever shy away from something that’s newsworthy,” especially at an Olympic Games.
“I think our responsibility as reporters, journalists and hosts is to document the events that are happening in front of us, and if there is some sort of protest I think it's important to do that,” Tirico said to a question by ATR
. “I think something that was missed...that got a lot of coverage around the country, we need to know why [there were athlete protests], as well. I think it's our responsibility to report it, show it, then follow up on the situation.”
Written by Aaron Bauer
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