NBCU Will Use Thanksgiving To Tout 2016 Rio Olympics

NBCUniversal hopes to use its annual broadcasts of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and National Dog Show to draw more attention to a program that will not see the light of day until well into next year.

The company’s NBC broadcast network will feature a 60-second promo on Thanksgiving Day toward the end of the Parade, which typically concludes around noon. Actress Eva Longoria, who will star in a coming NBC drama called “Telenovela,” will narrate the piece, which will depict athletes from around the world with their families in their home countries.

“The spot reflects the crucial role that family plays in the journey of so many Olympic athletes,” said John Miller, chief marketing officer of NBC Olympics.  “With the Games being one of the few family-viewing experiences left on television, we felt this message was appropriate for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.”

Athletes in the spot include include David Boudia (USA, diving),;Kerry Walsh Jennings (USA, beach volleyball); Dylan van Baarle (Netherlands, cycling); Murilo Endres (Brazil, volleyball) and his wife Jaqueline Carvalho (Brazil, volleyball); Simone Biles, (USA, gymnastics); and Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia, track and field).

NBCU and its parent company, Comcast, have reasons to put a little hard sell behind the Rio Olympics. In 2014, the International Olympic Committee unveiled an extension of its pact with NBCU that gives the company all U.S. media rights to Olympic games through 2032. Previously, NBCU struck an agreement in 2011 to pay $4.38 billion for games from 2014 through 2020. NBCUniversal has with each new Olympics telecast made more of the content available via digital means.

 

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