NBC just made a big move ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics. The network announced via PEOPLE that it will not send announcers to Beijing, China for the Games and will call all the action from the NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. This is the second consecutive Olympics that NBC will run its coverage from the U.S. office. The reason for the move is the rising COVID-19 cases going on worldwide.
"The announce teams for these Olympics, including figure skating, will be calling events from our Stamford facility due to COVID concerns," an NBC spokesperson told PEOPLE. "We'll still have a large presence on the ground in Beijing and our coverage of everything will be first rate as usual, but our plans are evolving by the day as they are for most media companies covering the Olympics."
According to the Associated Press, NBC has 250 people already in Beijing, and most of them are technical staff. NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel said: We are in a closed loop. It is restrictive access, but it does allow us to access the broadcast center and venues." Some reporters from NBC's sports and news divisions will be based in Beijing during the Games. And prime-time host Mike Tirico will anchor the coverage from Bejing from Feb. 3-10 before flying back to Los Angeles to cover the Super Bowl.
NBC and Peacock will have continuous coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympics starting on Feb. 2. The Opening Ceremony will be on Friday, Feb. 4 and coverage will end on Feb. 20. There will also be coverage of the Games on the USA Network, CNBC NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App.
"These Games have provided some unprecedented challenges, but by having already produced the Tokyo Olympics amidst the pandemic, we're fully prepared and equally excited to bring all the memorable moments of the Winter Games and Team USA to American viewers this February," Pete Bevacqua, Chairman, NBC Sports, said. "In addition to the extensive coverage on broadcast and cable television, every single moment of the Winter Games from Beijing will be available to viewers on Peacock's premium tier for the first time, providing yet another avenue for viewers to consume the Olympics.
"And in a media first — smack dab in the middle of the Winter Games — we get to broadcast the Super Bowl. February 13 will be the biggest day in sports media history, with the Olympics flanking Super Bowl coverage all day on NBC and Peacock — and Telemundo for the game — an unparalleled one-two punch. If you're not excited about that kind of challenge, you're in the wrong business. We're ready."