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NBCUniversal unveils plans for unprecedented 7,000 hours of Tokyo Olympics programming

Tokyo Olympic Games: Fifty Days To Go

TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 03: The Olympic Rings are displayed by the Odaiba Marine Park Olympic venue on June 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto has stated that she is 100 percent certain that the Olympics will go ahead despite widespread public opposition as Japan grapples with a fourth wave of coronavirus. The Japanese organising committee also announced yesterday that around 10,000 of the 80,000 volunteers originally scheduled to help at the Games have withdrawn as concern continues to surround the country’s ability to hold a huge sporting event amid a global pandemic. (Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)

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NBCUniversal announced plans to present 7,000 hours of programming surrounding the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

The unprecedented coverage, making the 17-day event “the biggest media event ever,” according to the release, begins Tuesday, July 20, with six hours of live softball coverage on NBCSN, which includes the gold-medal favorite U.S. team against Italy in the sport’s return to the Olympics for the first time in 13 years.

It continues Wednesday, July 21, when the U.S. women’s soccer team takes on Sweden -- the country that took the U.S. out of contention for an Olympic medal in the quarterfinal round in Rio -- on USA Network.

Then builds in earnest with NBC’s first-ever live morning broadcast of an Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 23, followed by a full day of Olympic content.

NBC’s first coverage of an Olympic Games was the Tokyo 1964 Olympics. This year’s Tokyo Games marks the 11th consecutive Olympics presentation and ninth consecutive Summer Games for NBC, both records for a U.S. media company.

The wall-to-wall programming will service both English- and Spanish-language viewers, spanning two broadcast networks, six cable networks and multiple digital platforms.

“After a devastating year, the world comes together again, finally, in Tokyo this summer,” Molly Solomon, Executive Producer and President, NBC Olympics Production, said in the release. “We are going to deliver the most comprehensive — and accessible — coverage for any sports event in history. The depth and breadth of our broadcasts will be unprecedented, showcasing once-in-a-generation athletes and storylines that will capture the incredible uniqueness of these Games and our times.”

The NBC broadcast network will air 250 hours of the biggest stories of the Games, including 17 consecutive nights in primetime with host Mike Tirico. “TODAY” and “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” will be on site with live coverage from Tokyo.

Five cable networks -- USA Network, CNBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and GOLF Channel will present more than 1,300 hours between July 20 and the Closing Ceremony on Aug. 8.

NBC Sports Digital will stream all 41 sports and 339 medal events on the Olympic program -- plus all ceremonies -- on and the NBC Sports app for 5,500 hours of streaming. Peacock’s full plans are forthcoming.

Telemundo Deportes will present the most extensive Olympic coverage ever in Spanish-language media focusing on those stories and disciplines that are relevant to the U.S. Hispanic audience, with over 300 hours of programming across Telemundo and Universo.

Additional highlights of the unparalleled programming include:

  • The men’s and women’s gold medal basketball games will air in primetime on NBC on Aug. 6 and Aug. 7, respectively, marking the first time the women’s final will be seen entirely in primetime since 1996
  • NBCSN will televise 440 hours of competition around the clock, including badminton, beach volleyball, equestrian, fencing, softball, soccer team handball, table tennis, plus long-form coverage of U.S. team sports in primetime
  • USA Network, airing its eighth Olympics, will provide 388.5 hours, including basketball, beach volleyball, cycling, diving, soccer, swimming, track and field, triathlon, volleyball and water polo
  • For its 11th Games, CNBC will air 124.5 hours that includes skateboarding’s Olympic debut, plus archery, canoe/kayak, rowing, rugby and water polo
  • Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will also be home of Olympic tennis and wrestling this summer, presenting 242 hours
  • GOLF Channel will show 111 hours, including live coverage of the men’s tournament from 6:30 p.m.-3 a.m. ET from July 28-31; the women’s tournament airs live at the same times Aug. 3-6
  • NBC Sports Digital will provide a “Team USA Tracker” stream for select gymnastics sessions, allowing fans to follow the U.S. men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics from apparatus to apparatus throughout the competition
  • Telemundo network is planning 187 hours of live coverage, while its cable network Universo will have 122 hours, all of which will be streamed on the Telemundo Deportes website and app. Spanish-language coverage will focus on U.S. athletes but also on Games’ biggest stories of Latin American Olympians, such as Mexico’s men’s soccer team, BMX gold medalist Mariana Pajon of Colombia and two-time Olympic medalist diver Paola Espinoza of Mexico

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