×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBC to Go Nearly Wall-to-Wall With Olympics Programming

For 16 days, people who tune to NBC expecting to see a repeat of “The Blacklist” or a fresh episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” will be out of luck.

Between Friday, August 5 and Sunday, August 21, the flagship broadcast network of NBCUniversal will show 260.5 hours of programming related to the 2016 Rio Olympics. On most days, NBC primetime programming will air from 8 p.m. to midnight ET/PT; daytime will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET/PT; and late night will air from 12:35 a.m. to 1:35 a.m. ET/PT. Replays will fill the slots between  1:35 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. ET/PT. Essentially, aside from “Today,” “NBC Nightly News” and some hours from local stations, NBC will feature Olympics events and features nearly around the clock.

The hours of coverage represent a feat on par with some of those likely to be performed by the athletes in the events, and point to the advantages NBCU can press with the Olympics taking place in a time zone closer to those of the United States. For years, as NBCU has broadcast Olympics from London or Beijing, it has grappled with how to feature the best contests in primetime, where advertisers pay significantly more for bigger audiences. With Rio, more of the games can be featured in near-linear fashion, perhaps prompting an audience increasingly accustomed to time-shifting to show up to a TV screen in more traditional fashion.

NBC’s coverage is just one slice of the greater pie. NBCUniversal will present an unprecedented 6,755 hours of Olympics programming across networks including USA, CNBC, Telemundo, Bravo, Golf Channel, MSNBC, NBCSN and NBCUniverso. The last time the Summer Games were in a U.S. friendly time zone, NBC was the sole network involved, and broadcast 171 hours of coverage for the 1996 Atlanta Games. Rio will have nearly 40 times more programming hours than Atlanta.

The events will also have digital coverage., NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will live-stream 4,500 total hours — including all Olympic competition for the third consecutive Olympics — for authenticated pay TV subscribers  to desktops, mobile devices, and tablets, plus connected TVs for the first time. The company said additional details regarding NBC Olympics’ digital offering would be forthcoming.  Some content will be offered in 4K Ultra HD to distribution partners, and some virtual-reality programming will also be available – both Olympics firsts. Details were not immediately available.

Bob Costas will again anchor NBC’s primetime coverage, while Ryan Seacrest will host the network’s late night programming. Al Michaels will serve as an NBC daytime host on weekdays and weekends. Dan Patrick and Rebecca Lowe will host daytime programming on both NBC and NBCSN.

NBC’s daytime and late night programming will originate from a studio located at Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach. The studio will feature two sets, one indoor and one outdoor; a main anchor desk; an interview area;and a news update desk, marking the first time in 24 years, since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, that NBC Olympics has utilized a major studio outside of a main broadcast center.

More TV

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

  • Ken Jeong TV Take Podcast

    Listen: Ken Jeong on His Return to Stand-Up and New Netflix Special

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, talks with Ken Jeong about his Netflix comedy special, “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho,” and being a judge on Fox’s “The Masked Singer.“ Jeong started working on his new standup act after ABC canceled his show “Dr. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content