NBC's schedule for the Tokyo Olympics this summer is set. According to TV Line, the network's primetime coverage will kick off on Friday, Jul. 23 with NBC's first-ever live morning broadcast of the Opening Ceremony. It will start at 6:55 a.m. ET, and it's anticipated to be "the first major global gathering since the worldwide pandemic began last year."
"Following the unprecedented challenges presented by the global pandemic, the world will come together in Tokyo for what could be the most meaningful and anticipated Opening Ceremony ever," NBC Sports Group chairman Pete Bevacqua said in a statement. "Given the magnitude of this event, we want to provide viewers with as many ways to connect to it as possible, live or in primetime."
After the opening ceremony, NBC will air a special edition of the TODAY show, which will feature athlete interviews. It will be followed by Tokyo Olympics Daytime, NBC's first-ever such daytime show. Primetime coverage will start a 7:30 p.m. ET with an encore presentation of the Opening Ceremony. However, the Tokyo Olympics' fate is still uncertain as the event could be called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I believe there will be an Olympics. I hope there will be an Olympics," Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said on Jan. 28. "That's our best intelligence at this time." Initially, the Tokyo Olympics were set to take place last year but was postponed. In January, it was reported that Japan is prepared to cancel the Olympics this year if COVID-19 continues to be an issue.
"All our delivery partners including the national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the IOC and the IPC [International Paralympic Committee] are fully focused on hosting the games this summer," officials said in a statement. "We hope that daily life can return to normal as soon as possible, and we will continue to make every effort to prepare for a safe and secure games."
The Tokyo Olympics will go from Friday, Jul. 23, to Sunday, Aug. 8. Two sports that will make their return to the Olympic games after a brief hiatus are baseball and softball. There will also be some new events, including 3x3 basketball, freestyle BMX and madison cycling.