When viewers tune into NBC to watch the Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony on July 23 at 6:55 a.m. ET (it will re-air from 7:30 p.m. ET), the competition and spectacle usually start of games They will be very different than they are used to seeing.
Yes, flag bearers will be present, and athletes are not turning away while waving cameras representing their countries as a show of unity among those competing.
Tokyo’s National Stadium seats will be empty for spectators except a few VIPs and dignitaries, as will every other Olympic venue hosting events due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
NBC executives laid out their plans again Tuesday before the competition begins with the women’s soccer and softball games on July 21.
A year late, the Games’ contingency plans took another turn when Japan declares new state of emergency COVID-19 cases continued to rise in Tokyo last week. This led organizers to ban Japanese viewers from the Games in Tokyo, undoubtedly forcing NBC officials to adapt their broadcast plans.
“The most meaningful game of our lifetime,” said Molly Solomon, executive producer and president of NBC Olympic Productions. “We are all emerging from this pandemic, so for many athletes this is the opportunity of a lifetime. We believe we can confidently build these games.”
NBC analysts Etto Bolden and Rowdy Gaines, who cover track and field and swimming, say they don’t mind visiting Japan despite restrictions placed on visitors to the country. NBC, which fields about 1,000 people a week from games including prime-time host Mike Tirico, says it will follow all COVID protocols to ensure the safety of its employees.
As far as the look and sound of the Games are concerned, no decision has been taken on how many athletes will be allowed to march when spectators watch the opening ceremony.
The network won’t be adding artificial crowd sound to events, but the plan is to have more in-venue audio that captures the natural sound.
Not many of the 613-member US contingent are expected to be in attendance at the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony. As was the case with previous games, some athletes choose not to participate, opting to rest before the competition. With social distancing, it is also not clear how many athletes will be allowed to participate.
The final version of the athletes’ playbook says “additional rules will apply” to the opening and closing ceremonies, but no details have been given.
“The journey to be a part of the 2020 US Olympic team was like no other,” USOPC chief of sports performance Rick Adams said in a statement. “This team is special; These games are special Team USA athletes and the commitment of the national governing bodies have never wavered, and we are grateful for that. “
NBC executives also confirmed that they will be hosting a watch party at an NBCUniversal resort in Orlando. Sponsors will pay for two family members or friends of Team USA athletes to travel to Florida. that proposal, according to wall street journal, includes free round-trip airfare, as well as four nights at the Orlando resort and tickets to three Universal theme parks.
Peacock, the streaming service that would provide track and field coverage, men’s and women’s basketball and gymnastics, again received heavy attention from officials.
Solomon said, “You have a blank canvas to give them everything and ever.” “There are so many different options. If you want to get up early, you can look into gymnastics, and the second week, we have track and field.
Peacock will be free for all who sign up and watch the Olympic Games, except for men’s basketball, which is offered as part of a plan that costs $4.99 per month.