NBC Olympics Outlines Coverage of Opening Ceremony in Tokyo

NBC Olympics will provide coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, July 23, creating a full day of Olympic programming on NBC that culminates in what is always one of the most-watched nights in television with the primetime presentation of the Ceremony. The day will begin with the network’s first-ever live morning broadcast of an Opening Ceremony, followed by a special edition of Today with reaction and athlete interviews and then NBC’s first-ever Olympic Daytime show on the opening Friday of the Games.

“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,” says Pete Bevacqua, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “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.”

The highly anticipated Tokyo Opening Ceremony will be the first major global gathering since the worldwide pandemic began last year. The NBC primetime broadcast will feature special coverage of Team USA, along with the performances, pageantry, and Parade of Nations, the heart of any Opening Ceremony, which will be especially meaningful this year. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

“We are delighted to offer live coverage of the Opening Ceremony for those who want immediacy, and, later in the day, build on NBC Olympics’ terrific primetime legacy with a full celebration of these much anticipated Tokyo Olympics, complete with expert analysis and enhanced coverage of Team USA,” says Molly Solomon, Executive Producer and President, NBC Olympics Production.

In order to provide viewers with the opportunity to share this historic experience with people from around the world as it happens, the Tokyo Opening Ceremony will also be broadcast live on NBC across all time zones starting at 6:55 a.m. ET, including participation by Today anchors who viewers welcome into their homes each morning. This marks the first time NBC Olympics will broadcast an Opening Ceremony live in the morning. With Tokyo 13 hours ahead of the east coast of the United States, the Opening Ceremony begins at 8 p.m. in Japan, which is 7 a.m. ET.

“Athletes are the heart of the Olympic movement, and the Opening Ceremony will be a global celebration of their dedication and resilience during their long journey to Tokyo,” says Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympic. “The same holds true for the IOC, the Japanese government, and the Tokyo Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, who are navigating unimaginable challenges to provide the athletes with what for so many is a once in a lifetime opportunity to compete on the world’s biggest stage.”

The NBC primetime coverage of the Tokyo Opening Ceremony will be replayed overnight, allowing viewers another opportunity to experience this historic moment and creating a near Ceremony takeover of NBC.

More information about NBC Olympics’ coverage of the Opening Ceremony, including its hosts, and the more than 7,000 hours of coverage planned for the Tokyo Olympics, will be provided closer to the start of the Games. The full digital and streaming plans for the Tokyo Olympics will be announced at a later date.

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