The 2021 Summer Olympics will be covered in a new way. This week, NBC announced it's partnering with Twitch, the interactive live streaming service, to produce and deliver live content during the Olympics. It will air on a new NBC Olympics Twitch channel leading into and throughout the Tokyo Olympics. The coverage will feature highlight studio shows, game-ified pre-Olympic activations, Olympic athlete interviews and Olympic-themed gaming competitions.
"We are thrilled to collaborate with Twitch on innovative ways to tell the stories of Team USA's athletes in Tokyo and build Olympic excitement with their audience," Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympics, said in a press release. "The Olympic Games are perfectly aligned with Twitch consumers, who are passionate about great competition, personality and storytelling. We can't wait to bring the unmatched moments and stories of the Olympics to Twitch's interactive community."
The first interactive experience on Twitch starts the week leading up to the Olympics before the Opening Ceremony. The Twitch communities and creators will work together to "keep the Torch alive" on the NBC Olympics Twitch Channel. Viewers will need to work together to collect items and take part in chat to fan the fan and "Light the Cauldron" on the day of the Opening Ceremony.
"The way that people consume traditional sporting events is changing. They no longer want to simply spectate; they want to be as close to the action and athletes as possible. We've seen this firsthand with the growth of our sports community on Twitch, as viewers tune in not only to watch their favorite athletes but to also take part in pre and post-game interviews and virtually connect with other fans from around the world," Michael Aragon, Chief Content Officer at Twitch, said. "The Olympics present an opportunity for a global fan base to embrace this new world of live and interactive sports. We are thrilled to partner with NBC to give fans in the United States an intimate, front row seat to this iconic sporting event and connect American athletes and fans in a way that can only happen on Twitch."
NBC and Twitch will produce a Daily Interactive Twitch Clip Show, Daily Competition, Primetime Sidecasting and Live From Tokyo, which will feature interviews and Q&As from the athletes. The 2021 Summer Olympics will start on July 23 and will end on August 8.