GREG HUGHES, SVP, COMMUNICATIONS: Hi, everyone, and thanks for tuning in to our Winter Olympics and Super Bowl press preview update. With Omicron, we are unable to do our typical in‑person event, so we have pivoted to a video presentation.
You will hear from NBC Universal and NBC Sports executives and special guests who will provide an in‑depth update and also break some news on our ambitious plans or the Winter Olympics and for Super Bowl 56.
There are a mix of panels, some in the studio and some remote. Starting us off are Maria Taylor and NBC Sports chairman, Pete Bevacqua.
MARIA TAYLOR: First of all, it’s so great to be here with you.
PETE BEVACQUA: It’s great to be here, Maria, and thanks for doing this.
MARIA TAYLOR: I can’t believe Pete has time because 2022 brings a lot of events to you, your doorstep, and that’s the Winter Olympics, the Paralympics and of course the Super Bowl. How do you even split the focus and the staffing between these two huge events and be able to pull both of them off?
PETE BEVACQUA: I think, first of all, it’s great for all of us, the fact that we can have the two biggest events in all of sports in the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics really on top of each other. It’s a great opportunity. And as I said to the team and as you and I have talked, if we can’t get excited for that, we are probably in the wrong business, so I think it’s fantastic.
But we are ready. We are prepared. We are prepared for the Super Bowl. It’s going to be in SoFi, as you know, which is an unbelievable stadium. I was lucky enough to be there in 2020 when it first opened and then again this season early in 2021, which was a different experience because there were spectators there.
But to have a Super Bowl in L.A., this will be NBC’s 20th Super Bowl, the fifth as part of our Sunday Night Football package. We’ve had a wonderful season so far. I’m excited because not only is it going to be hopefully a fantastic Super Bowl in L.A., but we are going to be simulstreaming this on Peacock for the first time ever. And we’ve had unbelievable success with Peacock and our NFL season so far. And we are also going to be broadcasting the Super Bowl on Telemundo. We’ve had it on Universo in the past, but now this will be the first time on Telemundo as a Spanish language broadcast network. So that’s a wonderful thing.
And then with the Olympics, we’ve had the benefit of having an Olympics, and you know, you were such a key part of it in Tokyo, in the midst of a pandemic, and it’s difficult. There are plenty of challenges, plenty of operational challenges. You can’t be caught flat-footed. You have to understand that you are going to call audibles along the way.
Our team led by Molly Solomon, our executive producer, Gary Zenkel, the president of our Olympics team, I think we are very ready. And across the board in terms of our team, you think about the role Mike Tirico will play and they role you will play, really both of you doing double duty with the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. So it’s going to be a challenge, but it’s going to be a wonderful challenge and an amazing opportunity for all of us.
MARIA TAYLOR: I’m really looking forward to hopping on a plane, leaving the Super Bowl, coming straight here and being able to work the Winter Olympics. And where we are right now is where we do Football Night in America in Stamford, Connecticut, but talk about the importance of this facility specifically, because while you’re simultaneously broadcasting two different global events, this is the hub of it?
PETE BEVACQUA: Absolutely the hub. Stamford is our home, and we’ll be prepared. We had over 1500 people here during the Tokyo, during the Summer Games. We’ll have well over a thousand people here for Beijing for the Winter Games. And this is the fifth time we’ll have used Stamford as part of our Olympic home.
But, you know, we’ll make sure. We have to do everything to keep people safe and sound. But with advancements in technology, that connectivity between what we’re doing in Beijing and what we do here in Stamford in our home base, I know we won’t skip a beat. And, again, we’ve gone through this, rightly or wrongly, for good or for bad, we’ve been dealing with live sports during a pandemic for 18 months, including the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. So this team is tested. This team is ready.
MARIA TAYLOR: I’m excited to feel the energy in this building during the Winter Olympics. 109 different medals will be handed out, 15 events, but there have to be some benefits and challenges having the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics having at the same time. How would you describe what those things are?
PETE BEVACQUA: Well, there’s definitely operational challenges because we are all going to be doing double duty, and no one knows that more than you, and you’ll live that as much as anybody. But I think the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
When you think about our sales efforts, I’m kind of the mindset that a rising tide lifts all ships, and when you can go out there to the community, the ad sales community and talk to our partners and talk about the power of the Winter Olympics and the power of the Super Bowl, that’s a great story and wonderful narrative, in terms of marketing, that we can say, hey, we have these two unbelievably important events.
And think about it. We’ll start off in Beijing, we’ll have that great opening week of Beijing in the Winter Games, and then smack dab in the middle of the Winter Olympics we have the Super Bowl. And I think we’ll be able to talk about the Olympics during the Super Bowl, we’ll be able to talk about the Super Bowl and the lead‑up to it during the Olympics.
And think about that Sunday where we’ll have great Olympic coverage prior to our pregame show from 8 a.m. to noon, then we’ll do everything as we would always do for a Super Bowl, hopefully have a great game, I’m sure it will be.
And then we’ll have that 100‑million plus audience from a Super Bowl and we’ll segue right into great live Olympic coverage back in Beijing. And to me that’s an unbelievably, really unparalleled and never before seen one‑two punch.
I think from a sales perspective, from a marketing perspective, it’s an absolute home run. And again, much like I’m excited about what we’re going to be able to do on Peacock with the Super Bowl, I’m really excited about what Peacock is going to add to those Olympics.
And we’ll have everything you can possibly imagine, every single moment of the Winter Games on Peacock. And I think we learned some valuable lessons in Tokyo. We’re proud of the content and all the hours of content we had, but I would tell you, I would be the first to admit we realize we had to make it easier for the viewer to navigate that, to digest the amount of Olympic content.
And I think one of the great things about Peacock is people will know that is your safety net, your home for all things Olympics. And we spent a lot of time making sure we have the right state‑of‑the‑art navigation tools on Peacock. So whether you want to be directed to NBC or USA or back at Peacock, utilizing the strength all of our platforms, Peacock will be the home for that.
MARIA TAYLOR: We know the strength of this home, right here, NBC will be on full display as we watch the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl. Pete, thank you so much for giving us an understanding of what this undertaking will look like for 2022, and I look forward to seeing you at all of these events.
MIKE TIRICO: I’m Mike Tirico, so good to be joined by the executive producer of Sunday Night Football and the game producer for Super Bowl LVI, Fred Gaudelli. Fred, it is your seventh Super Bowl, so I guess that’s 1/8th of all Super Bowl broadcasts you’ve been the game producer. We’re going to talk about the intersection of the Olympics and the Super Bowl in a minute, but I want to drill down on the game broadcast and what it’s like for you guys, how it’s changed along the way, and the enjoyment for you of being together for a seventh Super Bowl with the same director [Drew Esocoff].
FRED GAUDELLI: Well, to answer the question how it’s changed, it’s just gotten bigger, if that’s possible, but it is. When I think about our first Super Bowl together back in San Diego in February of 2003 to what we’re going to be doing in SoFi, it’s much bigger in every way possible.
To have your best friend sitting next to you in one of the great moments in sports and having been able to do it seven times is like seven blessings. It’s been a great run for Drew and I, and we couldn’t be more excited about this seventh Super Bowl.
And I think it’s a lot like how Belichick must have felt about Brady and Brady must have felt about Belichick, knowing that, hey, everything is going to be covered, no one is going to be rattled, we know how to do this.
And that’s how I feel about working with Drew, and hopefully he feels the same way.
MIKE TIRICO: Any of us who have the chance to be around you and travel with the Sunday Night crew for a bit, finish each other’s sentences and enjoy dinners together for three days a week for 20-plus weeks a year, it is a special connection, and the viewers are the ones who get to benefit from that.
So we are back to L.A. for the Super Bowl. We go back to the roots of the Super Bowl, really, in Super Bowl I, but it’s been a long time, almost 30 years since the Bills and Cowboys in Pasadena. How will SoFi Stadium, and Los Angeles in general, be a part of everything that is Super Bowl Sunday on NBC?
FRED GAUDELLI: Well, start out with the open, Mike, because we had this idea, we hatched it, actually, during the pandemic in the spring of 2020, to do an open that kind of merged Hollywood and the Super Bowl, and we were able to get Halle Berry to be the host of this open, and it’s a lot of movie clips of famous football movies. It’s obviously some Super Bowl clips and some really great cameos by Hollywood actors and Super Bowl luminaries.
So we start with that. That’s how — that’s how the 6 o’clock show, the kickoff show, which leads right into the game, that’s how that begins.
SoFi is a magnificent architectural structure, and we show that off. If you want to say L.A. proper, I believe the last Super Bowl in L.A. proper would have been Miami and Washington when Miami completed the perfect season back in 1973.
So there will definitely be a Los Angeles flavor that not only will be reflected in our graphic look but sprinkled in throughout the broadcast of the game.
MIKE TIRICO: That will include the pregame as well. Those hours leading up to the broadcast will have very much a feel of Los Angeles and Southern California as one of America’s iconic cities gets to host our biggest sports day.
I want to get to the game. A question you get around this time, number of cameras, microphones, graphics, anything different you add to the normal complement of what you guys bring for every Sunday night?
FRED GAUDELLI: We will have added equipment, obviously. I can’t tell you the number of cameras right now, not because it’s so enormous, but, you know, we feel like we do the Super Bowl every Sunday night. So the cameras we add for this are really to capture situations. So more goal line cameras, more cameras shooting down the sideline, cameras shooting down the end line in case there’s a question of their receiver stepped out of bounds before he caught a pass.
So it’s more to make sure there are no unanswered questions, we have all the critical looks. And that’s how we approach the game from the camera standpoint. We’ll have a brand-new graphics package and a really cool virtual package that for the first time we’ll be using a steady cam and using what they call the Infinity screen, that awesome scoreboard that hangs in SoFi. We will be using that as a graphic display tool for some of our virtual graphics.
So we’ll have a nice bag of toys, no question about it. But as you know and I know, it comes down to how you cover the critical moments of the game. And while I want to make the game feel like a spectacle, and we will, I’m more concerned about how we’re going to cover those critical moments of the game.
MIKE TIRICO: Just think of the catch in the end zone with the Steelers and Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, think of Malcolm Butler at the goal line against the Patriots with the Seahawks. Those are the moments that matter the most to fans and that you’ve been in the chair for, among others.
There’s nothing bigger than Super Bowl Sunday except when you put it right in the middle of the Olympics and you sandwich the biggest day in American sports with biggest event in the sports world, the Olympic Games. So how, from your perspective, in the lead-up and the execution, has the Olympics been a part of the Super Bowl planning?
FRED GAUDELLI: Well, we’ve been meeting together, Molly Solomon and her team and Tommy Roy and myself and a lot of other folks involved in the Super Bowl, we’ve been meeting since the summertime about this day.
If you’re an NBC employee, it’s one of the great days in the history of sports. I think the marketing campaign says once-in-a-lifetime, and that’s what it is for this Sunday, February 13th, once-in-a-lifetime.
What I like about it the most is, I think you’re like me, Mike, we like team, we like playing on great teams, and these are of the greatest teams in our business, the Olympic team, the Sunday Night team. And to have all those people together work together on this unprecedented day, that gets me jazzed.
MIKE TIRICO: Same here. I’m lucky enough to work with both teams on the Super Bowl pregame and hosting our coverage of the Olympics right after, so I get to be the automatic quarterback on two great teams. It’s like the sandlot dream on the biggest stage possible coming to life.
And we’ll have that Olympic coverage with a live Gold Medal skating event and bobsledding for women, where a couple of Americans have a great chance to win medals, right after the Super Bowl. So it’s right from the trophy presentation back to our set outside of SoFi, weather permitting, the chance to bring everyone some great Olympic coverage as well. We can’t wait. I know you’re excited about the Super Bowl. And once we get the matchup, we’ll be planning feverishly for February 13th.
MIKE TIRICO: Now time for a virtual conversation about a little more of what’s ahead with the Olympics, and for that we are joined by Molly Solomon and Gary Zenkel…And for a detailed conversation on the NBC plans for the Olympics, we are joined by the two presidents of NBC Olympics, Gary Zenkel, who is in Beijing already, and we’ll get to Gary on some of the business and logistics and other parts of this endeavor in a little bit, but we’ll start with Molly Solomon, executive producer, production, of our NBC Sports coverage of these Olympic Games. Molly, for the second time in seven months, here we go again with the Olympics.
MOLLY SOLOMON: Mike, we said Tokyo was going to be one of the most challenging Olympics of our lifetime. I retract that. Beijing is unique in this regard, and we’re going to talk about that today, but I wanted to start by making sure we don’t forget some of the amazing storylines that we expect to happen in Beijing.
First, we really got four once-in-a-generation athletes competing live in primetime and Prime Plus because of the Asian time difference. We are 13 hours ahead in Beijing. First of all, you have Mikaela Shiffrin, who is expected to compete in as many as five events and with a couple of medals, she’ll really cement her Olympic legacy.
We also have figure skater Nathan Chen who has been virtually unbeatable since the last Olympics. And the question is, can he shake off that disastrous short program in 2018 and finally win the gold medal.
And I get really excited about halfpipe. Chloe Kim is defending her halfpipe gold medal, and she is the hottest athlete on the planet right now.
And then there is Shaun White, who at age 35 who is coming back for one final Olympic appearance, and he is going to be competing against kids half his age.
So really excited to watch all of them, really special athletes. And I know, Mike, you and I really get intrigued by the USA-Canadian women’s hockey rivalry. I think it’s one of the best in all of sports.
MIKE TIRICO: It has turned up that way almost every time that the gold medal has been contested in women’s ice hockey — and even when they meet in between Olympic Games — it usually ends up USA-Canada, third period, tight game. And we look forward to some dramatic conclusion that could very well happen in Beijing.
Where will people be able to watch this? Take us across the layout in the family of networks.
MOLLY SOLOMON: It’s a little simpler than the Summer because the Winter Olympics is a little smaller, a little more intimate, but here is the plan. NBC will have afternoon, daily coverage, and then we’ll have primetime in Prime Plus, and that will be live across the country, live in all time zones, similar to what we started in PyeongChang and continued in Tokyo.
Now, with NBC Sports Network shuttering, USA Network becomes our primary cable home. So, 24/7 long-form live Olympic coverage. And then CNBC always has its traditional post-market curling show, plus we’ll also have some primetime additional curling and international hockey.
And on streaming, Peacock simply has it all. So we have eliminated the confusion, and they have the full complement of the Olympics, and you’ll hear more on that later in this presentation. Plus we always have live event streaming on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app where you can see everything via authentication.
And I think it’s always important, Mike, in the Winter Olympics, there’s a change, right. The primetime show starts on Thursday night, February 3, the night before the Opening Ceremony, and we are going to have the live team figure skating event.
MIKE TIRICO: And we’ll talk more about the Opening Ceremony in a minute. You mentioned Peacock and the various platforms and networks people will be able to watch the coverage. Any improvements or any learnings that have come from Tokyo that will be applied to the viewership experience for folks at home during the Beijing games?
MOLLY SOLOMON: You know, the upside of getting to do an Olympics a couple of months after another is that you immediately get to, you know, really listen to the viewer feedback and our own critique of ourselves and our presentation and we really focused on making the thousands of hours we produce more intuitive, findable, how can you make it easier for the viewer to find what they are looking for? So, we are doing that in three ways.
First, we mention Peacock, eliminating the confusion, every event on Peacock. Second, we have really enhanced our customization of the schedule on NBCOlympics.com. So, you can find anything you want, linear, digital or streaming by going there. Finally, we are going to double-down on on-screen execution. So, more information for the viewer. Studio segments will have tickers reminding you what’s coming up. We’ll use different graphical executions to ensure information is out there so everybody knows what’s coming up and where to find what they want.
MIKE TIRICO: Every Olympics seems to advance the ball a little bit on how sports are broadcast. It’s always a fun thing for all of to us find out and ask, what’s new in the coverage?
MOLLY SOLOMON: This is the fun part, right. We are deploying the most production technology ever at a Winter Olympics, including at figure skating where we have added major elements.
As you know, Mike, the skaters on the men’s and women’s side are continuing to elevate the sport with quadruple jumps so we really wanted to make sure that we are better explaining, you know, those amazing feats. So, we have added four super slow-mo cameras, one in each corner of the rink. That brings us up to 22 cameras of figure skating, and that is really going to help the viewer better understand the rotations on those jumps that determine their scores.
We are also using stro-motion, athlete tracking technology for enhanced replay packages, and I put a challenge down to Tara and Johnny to become Titans of the telly and channel their inner John Madden. So I think that all in all is going to come across as a really enhanced figure skating broadcast.
Then up in snowboarding we are going to have raw motion data tracking, what the heck did that mean, and that means that you’ll be able to see the jump height in the halfpipe which is really cool. At alpine we have added motion sensors to give us even better (measurements of) wind and speed.
MIKE TIRICO: It will be a lot for sure for the analysts and what I love about the Olympics, especially the Winter Games, you’re watching them and you’re trying to figure out how many rotations were in this or was it a 1080 out of the pipe, and for those of us who don’t do that, which is very few of us, or for those of us who don’t watch it all the time it’s hard to pick it up but our analysts pick it up right away; the athlete we cover four careers ago sometimes become our teammates.
So can you share who is new on our commentator roster for these games?
MOLLY SOLOMON: Yeah, so this is exciting. Lindsey Vonn is going to be joining us in the primetime show as a primetime correspondent, and she is going to be able to give us her perspective on Mikaela Shiffrin and the Alpine competition. You’re going to hear from her a little later in this event.
And then Ted Ligety is our new Alpine analyst, and from what we’ve heard in the lead-up events, I think he has incredible potential. I think he and Dan Hicks are going to be a terrific team.
And then I get excited about some more Olympic champions. We are adding Kelly Clark and Hannah Kearney to our snowboarding and free-style skiing team.
I know the conversations, Mike, that you and I have shared with them, really insightful. So they get me really excited as we contemporize our announcer roster.
But Mike, you’re no longer the new guy. You have now done a Winter — two Summer and one Winter Games, but wondering, you know, I know I’ve been busy in this quick turnaround but how have you been preparing in this very short time?
MIKE TIRICO: That’s a very nice way for to you say pretty much I am the old guy in the room now, Molly, but I am with regards this Olympic group.
Yeah, it’s kind of a 4, 3, 2, 1 for me. This is my fourth Olympic Games with NBC, third as primetime home and second Winter Games. Coming off Tokyo pretty quickly into football. It’s been a lot of split life, especially the last five or six weeks: Watch your football, do your football prep for Football Night in America and calling some games and then do the prep for the Olympics. It’s been a challenge but it’s been so much fun and I think easier because it is my second Winter Games as the primetime host. A lot of the characters repeat and return the storylines, the sports that we don’t cover mainstream as much, are more first nature, and I’ve been watching them the last three or four years.
In terms of three, doing three primetime games in Asia for me, it is already answered the question of what the days will be like and the rhythm of flipping your body schedule and our mornings in Asia are nighttime and primetime back in the United States, East and West Coast and that’s all fun.
Fourth Olympics, third primetime, second Winter and the one, the once in a generation, once-in-a-career, never-happened-before, part of this, that we will get the opportunity to be a part the Olympics and the Super Bowl on the same day. February 13th will be the most massive undertaking that any company has been involved with in terms of sports broadcasting with the biggest event in the world, the Olympics, and the biggest event in America, the Super Bowl, on the same day.
I’ll let you share some of the planning and some of the intersection of the Super Bowl and the Olympics on that same day.
MOLLY SOLOMON: It’s going to be one of those great days for sports fans, the Olympics and Super Bowl on the same day as you mentioned. And it’s going to be quite an odyssey for you, Tirico, because you are going to start in Beijing and then head to SoFi stadium in L.A. and make that trek and not miss a primetime show.
So you’ll be hosting the middle weekend of the Olympics on Friday, Saturday, Sunday night from SoFi Stadium. And we are lucky and pleased to announce that Craig Melvin from the TODAY show, he is going to be back in Beijing and he will be hosting Prime Plus that middle weekend and covering any Beijing-based news and we are super excited about that. You know, we are calling it “Super Gold Sunday,” Mike. You can start on your couch at 8:00 a.m. with live Olympic competition, and go straight into the Super Bowl pregame show, the big game and at the end of the night after the Lombardi trophy is presented, we are going back to Beijing.
MIKE TIRICO: Yeah, we are going to be that Super Bowl party guest that doesn’t leave, because we’re going to be there first and stays last. We’re going to leave the lights on for you.
Usually, Molly, we talk about the Super Bowl and we’re promoting a new show that’s going to follow the trophy presentation at the end of the game, and obviously it’s different. So detail what our plan is going to be after the trophy is handed out at SoFi.
MOLLY SOLOMON: It’s super cool, you’ll have a championship crowned on the football field, and then we’re going to Beijing. We have two gold medal finals in that hour 15 after the Super Bowl concludes. It’s free dance live and then monobob. And what’s monobob, you might ask, because I asked myself. It’s a new event in women’s bobsled, one woman drives the sled; and it goes I think more than 70 miles an hour, so a little NASCAR on ice. Our analyst tells us it’s really hard to drive because it’s so light, so anything can happen.
And it just turns out there’s two American medal contenders in women’s monobob that we are really excited about. Once that concludes, we go straight to the free dance and there’s two Americans in the medal contenders, too. It’s going to be quite an exciting few hours after the Super Bowl, so stay up later with us.
MIKE TIRICO: It’s going to start early, stay all day.
Let’s start talking about the host nation and China, a topic on the mind of so many people in every facet of the Olympic movement, broadcasting world, and and sports world. Hosting a Summer and Winter Games, first city to do that obviously but take us back to 2008, those Beijing Games and that Opening Ceremony was such a spectacle really set a bar in so many ways. What do we expect from the Opening Ceremony for 2022?
MOLLY SOLOMON: I think that’s what we are really, really intrigued by, because the director, Zhang Yimou, is coming back so he’s going to be in charge of the ceremony. And as you say it was such a jaw-dropping spectacle. I kind of feel like it’s waiting to see what a director has in store after he has a blockbuster action movie. You know, what’s his Olympic sequel?
In terms of our coverage, you know, it’s going to be similar to Tokyo. It’s going to be live in the morning, with you and Savannah Guthrie hosting and then we’ll have an enhanced presentation in primetime when the majority of people can watch. That’s where we’re really going to be able to follow Team USA, their trek to the stadium and talk to the American athletes about the upcoming Olympics.
And a favorite feature of mine that we introduced in Tokyo, we actually talked live to the flagbearers as they walked into the stadium. We had their family back home, and to me, it was one of those spine-tingling moments because you felt like you were experiencing the emotion and the pride of the American flag bearers. So, very excited about February 4th.
MIKE TIRICO: And certainly at every Olympics, the host country takes the stage for its moment with the world watching. Obviously the host country here in China is the next in line of many host countries that have politics or geopolitical issues surrounding them at the moment that they host the Games, and these have certainly been raised to a different level and are very unique.
So can you share the plan of how to discuss the geopolitical issues around China and balance that with the coverage of the Olympic competition.
MOLLY SOLOMON: You know what, we are going to be focusing on telling the stories of Team USA and covering the competition. But the world, as we all know, is a really complicated place right now, and we understand that there are some difficult issues regarding the host nation.
So our coverage will provide perspective on China’s place in the world and the geopolitical context in which these Games are being held. But the athletes do remain the centerpiece of our coverage.
MIKE TIRICO: Let me come back to the treatment of those geopolitical issues, because obviously they are very significant, and really need perspective and context. Maybe you can share with everyone the couple of individuals who will be joining us to help us decipher and explain to the U.S. audience what’s going on, and the historical context of what is taking place currently in China.
MOLLY SOLOMON: As in past Games, we thought it was important to bring two intellectuals, two experts, two China analysts to join you in primetime. The first of whom is Andy Browne. He’s a journalist who has worked in Asia for 35 years, including as the China editor at the Wall Street Journal during the last Olympics.
He’s currently the editorial director of the Bloomberg New Economy. He’s going to be joined by a cultural historian, Jing Tsu. She’s a Yale professor of China Studies. She and Andy are going to be traveling with you to Beijing, and we look forward to their contributions to primetime.
MIKE TIRICO: Certainly we look forward to their contributions. Very interesting discussions, with both Andy and Jing. And I think they will be very helpful for us to help share with America some perspective on what is going on during the Games in China.
Let’s talk about our colleagues, Molly, at NBC News. They’ll be with us again. What’s their role?
MOLLY SOLOMON: NBC News will be on site to cover the news in China. As you probably know, we have a Beijing‑based bureau there. And NBC Olympics will cover the issues that impact the Games, as needed.
And, Mike, I think it’s always important to remember that we have a record of not shying away from these topics. Not in 2008, the last time the Games were in China, in Sochi and PyeongChang. And most recently, we covered COVID and the athlete protests in Tokyo.
We also plan to have reporters at all Beijing venues. If something happens, we’ll have our own cameras on site.
MIKE TIRICO: Well, you have done this for many Olympics, Molly. So too has Gary Zenkel. We’ll bring Gary back in from Beijing to join the conversation for a little bit. Gary, it goes back to Barcelona 1992. Happy 30th anniversary in some way of being involved in the Olympics. Could you describe what the last six months have been like for you?
GARY ZENKEL: Let me put it in some interesting terms. I’ve never actually run a marathon. One day I hope to. But I think it’s something like if you were to run two marathons on two consecutive days.
And so you finish one, and before the soreness heals up and before you’ve recovered from the exhaustion, you get on the road the next day. And that’s what this was like.
But we love what we do. We knew this was coming when the Games of Tokyo were postponed. And so we began our planning for Beijing a little bit earlier, at least the very serious planning for Beijing.
And we have an amazing team that rallied on their way out of Tokyo. In fact, we did some of the work while we were in Tokyo. We set ourselves up to plan for a six‑month turnaround. So it’s been quite a sprint. But we’re here. I’m here. There are 250 of us here, more to come, and we’re getting ready.
MIKE TIRICO: It certainly has been a challenge given that, and COVID, and everything else. You’ve been on the ground there for several days. So what perspective can you share? What are preparations like right now?
GARY ZENKEL: So, it’s going well. As I said we have 250 on the ground. We had about 100 people that phased in October/November of last year and began to build out the technical infrastructure in the broadcast center.
That put us in a really great position when more of us came in early January. So we have a really sound technical infrastructure built inside the IBC, and now that we’re able to move to the venues, our preparations at the venues is now underway.
In January, the group that came in entered what’s called a closed loop. If you’ve been following Beijing and the preparations, you know that they’ve created essentially a bubble that the Olympic stakeholders and all its participants will operate in.
It is restrictive, but it does allow us, of course, completely access, as we need, the broadcast center, the venues, in order to complete our preparation. So all in all, quite good. The venues, I haven’t been to any yet on this trip. But for those who have, they say they are spectacular. So I have no doubt that what the American audience witnesses when we turn on our cameras in a few weeks is going to be extraordinary.
MIKE TIRICO: And when we turn the cameras on, Molly gave us a little bit of a sense of how people can consume the Olympics in terms of the broadcast. There are other unique ways to do that. That always happens with innovative partnerships that present themselves during the Games, that bring it to a whole bunch of different audiences and very different methods. Can you share some of those for these Winter Olympics?
GARY ZENKEL: Sure. We have developed really great, now, multi-Game relationships with great distribution media companies that reach really important audiences on a grand scale. Whether it’s Google and YouTube, who we’re again partnering with, whether it’s Twitter. We had a wonderful partnership with them in Tokyo and prior years.
And then a couple of other key platforms. You probably know who they are, but I’m going to hang on to those, Mike, so we can announce those in the coming days.
The other thing we’re doing, and we have been doing over several Games, but it has really stepped up in terms of providing a great tool for the consumer to navigate through the vast amount of content that we offer in each Olympics across platforms, whether it be linear; whether it be now Peacock, as Molly described;
Apple TV; Amazon Fire will all advance the Olympic navigation dashboards that they created for our Tokyo Games, learned and have refined for Beijing.
We of course work closely with our parent company, Comcast. The X1 platform for their subscribers only gets better and better, in terms of providing great opportunities for their subscribers to search, discover, and personalize Olympic content so they can get to what they want to see.
And we’ve worked with a bunch of MVPDs and digital MVPDs to also create Olympic dashboards and great tools for them to navigate, which is sort of this fire hose of content that happens over the course of the two weeks.
MIKE TIRICO: There’s a lot to find. We’re doing our best to help you find it and you find it at the same time. Gary, look forward to seeing you soon. Stay safe. Thanks for your time from Beijing.
GARY ZENKEL: Thanks, Mike.
MIKE TIRICO: And one of the things that we’ll see in our production is that we have a lot in China and a lot back state side. I’ll bring Molly back in to talk about that, because, Molly, this will replicate some of the learnings from Tokyo regarding how to pull off an Olympic Games in these challenging times with the pandemic around the world.
MOLLY SOLOMON: You’re right, Mike. We’ve gotten really good at this type of production. It’s almost like we’ve got a built‑in expertise on how to mount large‑scale remote productions. And the Beijing model is going to be very similar to Tokyo in that the heartbeat of our Olympic operation will actually be in Stamford, Connecticut, at NBC Sports headquarters. We’ll have more personnel there than in the host city.
Just with COVID’s changing conditions and China’s zero tolerance policy that Gary really talks about, it’s just added a layer of complexity to all of this. So we need to make sure that we can provide the same quality experience to the American viewers. So that’s why we’re split between the two cities.
But as we tell our team, we’re nimble, we’re flexible and we’re ready to pivot. But I have to say something significant has changed virtually every day for the last three months, forcing us to adjust our plan numerous times. And I expect that to continue. And so will the challenge of covering these Olympics.
MIKE TIRICO: Let’s talk about the atmosphere in the venues, because there are no international fans. We experienced that in the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Used to be the old line that it was a small‑attended game. You’d say it’s a gathering of friends and family there.
But we took that to a different level and a different meaning in the Tokyo Games. Will we see a repeat of that connection between athletes and their families who cannot make the trip over?
MOLLY SOLOMON: You know, we like to say that out of adversity comes innovation. And as you say with no international fans in Tokyo, we made sure that Team USA’s friends and family were still present in the broadcast.
We made sure America could celebrate alongside Team USA and their family members. So we were at watch parties in Orlando and Tokyo and in living rooms across America. And I really think it generated some incredibly emotional memories. And we put together a little lookback at Tokyo. So take a look.
MOLLY SOLOMON: So once again, for the Beijing Games, we’ll be hanging out with Team USA’s family and friends. There are watch parties in planned in Park City, in Lake Placid. I know the figure skating community the first week will all get together. We just can’t wait to be there, if they’ll allow us to. I really think it’s a great way to connect Team USA to their family back home particularly in the mix‑zone interviews. It does inject the broadcast with so many emotions. We look forward to making that connection this time.
MIKE TIRICO: It’s one of my best memories from Alaska to Florida, from the Tokyo Games. We had smiles and saw emotion and tears and we likely could see that again.
So there’s a group we all work with. There are so many teams that you don’t get to see that behind the scenes are the backbone and the foundation of what we put on TV. And one of them has been our Olympic Profiles team. Over the years you’ve seen those Olympic profiles. I can’t thank of a group of colleagues who have had a tougher road over the last seven months than that group.
MOLLY SOLOMON: That’s right. And don’t forget they do all the Super Bowl pregame features as well. They’ve been mighty busy. It’s always my honor to share their outstanding work.
I brought a couple of things I’d like to share. One of which, we talked about monobob coming out of the Super Bowl. And one of the two U.S. contenders is Elana Meyers Taylor. And her life has changed so much since the last Olympic. Take a look.
MIKE TIRICO: Quite a story, fourth Olympic Games, with so much that’s happened between the third and fourth. And Elana Meyers Taylor could be one of those we see in a featured spot after the Super Bowl on Sunday night, February 13th.
Molly, if we’re talking about international stories, there’s one that really has captured the attention of the Olympic world. Maybe the best group of individuals in one sport from one country, you talk about podium sweep potential, could be the Russian figure skaters on the women’s side.
They have an incredible story to tell, and a pretty cool person we have tell their story.
MOLLY SOLOMON: You’re right, Mike. And it’s been so difficult to get access to particularly international athletes during the pandemic. But we persevered because we thought it was essential to go to Russia, like you said, to pull back the curtain on these Russian women who are doing unprecedented things. And who better to send than the intrepid Johnny Weir. Take a look at the story of 15‑year‑old Kamila Valieva, the highest‑scoring woman in the history of figure skating.
MIKE TIRICO: Johnny has been telling us anecdotes of that trip. And you see the talent of the skaters. Looking forward to seeing potential record performances by them in the women’s skating competition.
Molly, it’s a lot. Thank you for the time and for the background. We look forward to collaborating a lot here to bring America these games.
MOLLY SOLOMON: Looking forward to it, Michael.
MIKE TIRICO: As Molly promised and mentioned earlier, our friend and colleague from NBC News and the TODAY show, Craig Melvin will be joining our coverage in a significant way during these Winter Games, and Craig joins us now.
CRAIG MELVIN: As Molly said earlier, I am thrilled to be a part of the NBC News and NBC Olympics teams for these Winter Games. And here with me, another newbie, the newest member of Team NBC Olympics. Ladies and gentlemen, Lindsey Vonn, who will be joining me as a prime‑time correspondent. Are you ready?
LINDSEY VONN: I’m so ready. Born for this. Let’s do it.
CRAIG MELVIN: Here’s the thing. You are the most decorated female alpine skier of all time. You’ve competed in four Winter Games on Team USA. What are you looking forward to most as part of Team NBC for these games?
LINDSEY VONN: I’m excited to give a different perspective. Michael Phelps was such a good addition to the Summer Games. And I hope that I can bring the same perspective to the Winter Games. I’m definitely still going to be jealous of the competitors. But I’m excited to just be with you guys, be on the team and hopefully provide some new insights.
CRAIG MELVIN: Do you still miss competing at this point?
LINDSEY VONN: I think I always will. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I love going fast. And I miss the thrill of downhill and competition. But I’m happy to be on the sidelines at this point, especially for these Games.
CRAIG MELVIN: Who do you think are gold medal favorites heading into Beijing for us?
LINDSEY VONN: I think there’s so many Americans that will do well. Nathan Chen obviously just won, I think it was U.S. Nationals. And Breezy Johnson, I’m a big fan of. I’ve been mentoring her for quite some time now. She’s been on the podium in every single downhill race. And obviously the favorite, Mikaela Shiffrin, just broke the slalom record. I think there’s plenty of favorites for Team USA.
CRAIG MELVIN: Here’s the thing. You’re not just joining us as an analyst. We’re not just getting your perspective and insight. You’ve been pretty busy behind the camera as well, directing this new documentary for Peacock on Picabo Street. What was it like chronicling the life of your childhood hero?
LINDSEY VONN: It was such an honor to be able to do this on Picabo. I met her when I was 9 years old. She really is what ‑‑ the person that inspired me to be an Olympian. And also my first time decorating and producing with Frank Marshall was such a privilege. So I hope everyone enjoys it. It will be on Peacock January 21st.
CRAIG MELVIN: You mastered the slopes. You made your country proud and continue to make us proud. This TV thing can be a little tricky, Lindsey. Have you been practicing at all?
LINDSEY VONN: How now brown cow. I’ve practiced so many times.
CRAIG MELVIN: It’s that simple ‑‑ how now brown cow.
LINDSEY VONN: Stay classy, San Diego. It’s all you need. We’re good.
CRAIG MELVIN: I’m Craig Melvin? I’m Craig Melvin? You’re going to fit in very well here at the Peacock, and we’re excited to have you here, Lindsey. Welcome. Thank you. Looking forward to hanging out with you.
LINDSEY VONN: Sounds good.
JENNY STORMS: I’m Jenny Storms. I’m thrilled to be here today talking about this once‑in‑a‑lifetime moment ahead for NBC Universal. As the Tokyo Olympics came to a close, an incredible opportunity presented itself for our company. And we are ready for this moment where for the first time, the Super Bowl and Olympics happen at the same time on NBC and Peacock.
Over the past six months the torch at NBC Universal has remained lit and the Olympics have continued to be part of the cultural conversation with both summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic athletes making appearances at events, late night shows, entertainment programs and every week of Sunday Night Football.
This close proximity of events has also positioned us for success going into February, as we leverage the rich first-party data and insights finding new ways to bring the Olympics relevantly and authentically to consumers.
Now, more than ever, the Olympics are an opportunity to experience history in the making. These moments are what make the Olympics so unique and a huge part of American culture.
Whether it was the Miracle on Ice in the ’80s, Nancy Kerrigan’s inspiring recovery of the ’90s, or Shaun White’s legendary golden halfpipe run of the last decade. This winter, ordinary becomes extraordinary in the blink of an eye again, as a new generation of athletes set their sights on making history.
While we can’t yet say what will happen, we do know Americans of all ages will want to watch it live to find out, to feel the surprise, the inspiration and athletic triumph that turns a medal into a culture‑defining moment.
Don’t miss the moment we’ll all be talking about tomorrow and for years to come, because generation‑defining moments will happen any night and every night.
This high‑level, six‑month timeline is like none we’ve seen before. We have the full power of Comcast NBC Universal uniquely coming together and bringing the Winter Olympics to life across in‑person activations, in‑store, out of home, linear, digital, streaming, social and so much more, to harness our power of reaching 93% of Americans across our platforms every month.
We have developed a clearly-defined strategic roadmap to achieve our three core marketing goals, with a focus on elements with the highest locus of control and greatest impact on consumption and engagement.
First, we will be laser-focused on driving people to Thursday, February 3rd to watch the first night of competition live.
Next, we know nothing moves consumers more than their connection to the Olympics, people connect with people. The Olympics are the DNA of our company, and we’ve gone further than ever before to shine a light on our stars amplifying their stories and elevating the winter athletes to national prominence.
And finally, we will be in the cultural zeitgeist and drive relevance as these are the moments all Americans will be talking about with their families and friends.
Our strategy and plans come to life with unrivalled company support, including five weeks of cross‑channel dominance; tens of millions in local and affiliate support; 250 million digital impressions, plus takeovers in digital; social dominance and promotions across our Comcast and distribution partner channels, including maximum visibility on partner platforms.
We continue to find ways for the American public to connect with and have a personal experience with the Olympics, including bringing larger‑than‑life activations to their communities. Rings Across America is back from Tokyo, and giant Olympic rings are traveling across the U.S. and stopping in select markets. Our Epic Countdown activation, which began in New York City around the holidays, is moving around the country, bringing Super Bowl LVI and the Winter Olympics together in snow globe form for consumers to capture their own video and social moments, and we will even do the impossible, making it snow in Los Angeles.
Through our local owned-and-operated stations, we are sharing their human‑centered, competition‑focused and narrative‑rich messages, delivering more in‑depth and expansive local coverage, everything from athlete specials and interviews and season two of My Favorite Olympian podcast, introducing them to consumers across the country and inspiring the Team of Tomorrow.
As always, we’re attaching the Olympics to NBC Universal’s biggest moments and putting the full weight of our company behind it. We have been and will continue to fuel cultural relevancy and elicit FOMO through our positioning to motivate fans to tune in for key events, athletes, and moments, with authentic integrations and partnerships with our high‑profile networks and franchises. Last quarter, we created a high‑profile integration in our top programs including a curling segment on The Voice and Project Runway Olympic-themed episode with Tara and Johnny.
We’ve created custom integrations with our leading broadcasts, cable and news programs across the portfolio. For instance, CNBC’s Closing Bell feature “Any Moment Could Be History” and Shark Tank’s “extreme drama” segments and our broadcast and cable entertainment networks have authentically woven Olympic stars and hopefuls into their programming with bespoke content like The Watch What Happens Live “Olympic Spill-age” segment, SVU on USA content, Nightly Pop integrations on E, and Terry Crews’ Team USA Super Fan features.
We’ve been supporting the Olympics with custom promotions across Bravo, E! and SyFy – Everything from Below Deck‘s “Who Would be Your Crew?” to “Nerding Out with Team USA” and a hilarious take on Resident Alien providing a “learn how to be human” Winter Olympics edition – how to figure skate, how to snowboard and how to support your athletes.
We are more focused than ever on connecting today’s youth with the Olympic movement. Reaching younger audiences, it’s a key component of our strategy. So, we are excited to have several partners creating youth‑focused content. Universal Kids has a series of assets that allow their audience to get to know the Olympic athletes as they answer fun, rapid‑fire questions for use on Universal Kids digital and social channels.
NBC Universal Local has created a content series, This Trick is Sick, where Winter Olympic athletes break down some of their best tricks highlighting what it takes to pull off an awe‑inspiring, gold medal‑winning sick trick. Whether it’s through national exposure across Universal Kids channel rapid‑fire content and Peacock custom content or with locally on NBC News Local Channel Kids edition, we’re committed to teaching and inspiring the next generation of fans.
And finally, we will capitalize on the Haley’s Comet of media moments, because there’s simply nothing bigger than having the two biggest media events together at NBC Sports ‑ the Super Bowl and the Olympics occur on the same day and on the same network. This is an unprecedented opportunity as we will be reaching, engaging and captivating the largest audiences and telling the greatest story ever told. This will truly be once in a lifetime.
And if that wasn’t big enough, we’re going colossal and partnering with Universal Films to leverage our blockbuster movie franchise Jurassic World. These Olympians are about to face a challenge they never saw coming in a world they never imagined, more details are coming this Friday on the TODAY show.
As we look ahead, the next few weeks will prove to be the most exciting in our company’s history, as we unleash our largest marketing effort reaching more Americans than ever before, with relevant content on the platform of their choice. All on our path to the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the Paralympics, this is truly once in a lifetime.
MARIA TAYLOR: Dan, it’s so great to be speaking with you for a sales update. Obviously the first question we want to hear: Are you sold out of both?
DAN LOVINGER: Thank you, Maria. And first off, let me say we’re excited for both of these moments that are to come. Let me start with the Winter Games. For the Beijing Games, we’re at exactly the same spot we were heading into the PyeongChang Games in terms of our sellouts. We still have some work to be done between now and the end of the Games, but we feel really confident that we’re going to achieve all of our goals.
When it comes to the Super Bowl, we are virtually sold out, as we have been for quite some time. We tend to hold a few units in our back pocket until the final game matchup is announced, because as we’ve learned, some optionality is helpful for us and it’s helpful for advertising partners. So much of the decision to be part of the Super Bowl is based on creative. And when we know who is in the game, sometimes that creative creates some resonance based on the matchups. So that optionality is there, and we’ll be able to react with the last few units.
MARIA TAYLOR: You mentioned the Super Bowl, so let’s start there with how significant of an increase maybe you’re seeing. I know there’s a lot of excitement about the Super Bowl being in LA, but have you seen an increase on the sales side?
DAN LOVINGER: Well, the answer is yes. Although, comparisons can be a little tricky because it really depends on the conditions at any given time in any marketplace. But as I said, we have seen significant increases.
If you look at the average unit rates from the last time we sold the Super Bowl back in 2018 in Minneapolis, we’re looking at 20 percent increase in the average unit rate. And the back half of the market, we’ve seen units sell for as much as six and a half million dollars.
MARIA TAYLOR: With an increase like that, obviously there has to be a driving force behind it. What would you say that is?
DAN LOVINGER: I believe it’s really a confluence of things. I think first the NFL has never been stronger, particularly in comparative terms. When you think about the NFL relative to other sports or certainly general entertainment programming, it’s really, really strong.
If you’re looking to reach 100 million people in an evening, there’s really only one place you can go, and that’s the Super Bowl.
I think second is the economy, and it seems to be on pretty stable footing. You’ve got strong-ish GDP, maybe a little too strong, some might say, but still good. And you’ve got great consumer confidence, and what we’ve learned is that when consumers consume, advertisers advertise.
But the third thing, which is the really interesting thing, obviously, is the impact of COVID and how advertisers have learned to adopt to it.
Marketers are really finding a way through it and we’re seeing categories that sat out last year come back, like studios. We see new categories like legalized sports betting, cryptocurrency, and some of the streaming platforms come in, and then you’ve got your old standbys ‑‑ automotive, QSR beverage that are in strong. So, it all adds up to a really strong market for the Super Bowl.
MARIA TAYLOR: We’re talking about the marketers and all the eyeballs on the Super Bowl. So, what are marketers trying to do with their time during the big game? Have you noticed exactly what their goals are with that time?
DAN LOVINGER: They’re all very secretive because this is the big reveal at the game or sometimes a little bit before. But from what we’ve seen based on scripts, it’s a return back to a more comedic tone, we think.
You’re going to see a slightly lighter tone. And I think the country’s ready for it.
MARIA TAYLOR: Let’s shift a little bit to the Beijing Olympics, because it’s obviously received a lot of attention more recently surrounding the diplomatic boycott. Can you tell us a little bit about how that’s impacted sales?
DAN LOVINGER: Sure. What’s really important is we’re trying to help our advertisers understand that all of the different narratives are in play here. While we wish that there was no diplomatic boycott, we certainly understand it. But a diplomatic boycott is really just that — it just means that our diplomats won’t be in Beijing. Our athletes will be there, and they’ll be excited to be there, and we’ll be there to bring the games to them.
And what’s really great for our advertisers to know is that our athletes need them. Most of our athletes live in one sole purpose: to train for the games. Their families live to help them train for the games, they get no financial support from our government, which is fine. So, they rely on the generosity of corporate America and some individuals to help them realize these dreams.
So, when our advertisers decide to sit these Games out, it really hurts the athletes, because now they have to go compete with the Chinese and the Russians and athletes from other countries that already receive massive state funding.
So, it’s really a win‑win if our advertisers support the athletes, because we’ve seen in surveys that close to 80% of Americans actually associate the advertisers with the athlete’s success.
MARIA TAYLOR: I’ve met some of these athletes. They’re absolutely incredible individuals. How many advertisers would you say have already signed up for the Winter Olympics?
DAN LOVINGER: To date we have nearly 100 advertisers, which is roughly what we had at this time going into the PyeongChang Games. The average spend level has grown slightly from PyeongChang, particularly from the returning advertisers, which seems to indicate that they have faith in the franchise and they’re happy to be back.
As a placeholder, we feel really good about that. We also have 40 new advertisers, which is really great. It also indicates that there’s strength in the Olympic movement interest.
And when you look specifically at our digital revenue, our digital revenue is up double digits, which is really just an indication of how the Games are being consumed more and more across multiple platforms.
MARIA TAYLOR: Well, Dan, I can’t let you leave with all this knowledge in sales without asking you if there’s some trends that you’ve been noticing as of late that you can just tell us about.
DAN LOVINGER: I think, first of all, a lot of our partners are really just focused on enhancing the Olympics, and that’s great because we need that. They want it for the fans. They want it for themselves.
When you think about some of them, Toyota is giving viewers a first‑ever commercial‑free experience during some of our biggest moments in the games. Xfinity will be our exclusive partner for all athletes, friends and family programs. So, you’ll see those heartwarming reactions that you saw during the Tokyo Games brought to you by Xfinity.
Our Los Angeles ‘28 partners, Salesforce and Delta will be very active as well. So, Salesforce tools and services will assist our Olympic production team in analyzing the data within our coverage, which will be really cool. The Consumer marketing team is also using Salesforce to interact with millions of Americans throughout the games.
And then Delta is going to be flying our athletes over. They’re going to be flying our crews and our production teams over. They’ve painted a plane. And they’re really getting into the Olympic spirit by doing that.
MARIA TAYLOR: Well, there’s so much to be excited about. And Dan, thank you so much for taking a little bit of a break. I know you’re busy and you have to get back to work, but we appreciate the update.
DAN LOVINGER: Thank you, Maria. Take care.
MATT STRAUSS: Hi, I’m Matt Strauss, Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International for NBC Universal. And I’m happy to be here today to talk about the Olympics on Peacock in this watershed moment for millions of fans across the country.
As we prepared to launch Peacock two years ago, it was always our vision to make the entire Olympic and Paralympic experiences available on Peacock.
The Olympics bring us together unlike any other event in the world. For 17 days we learned about the incredible journeys and stories of the best athletes in the world, witnessed incredible feats of strength and endurance and share in the thrill of each victory and heartbreak of every defeat.
Since the 2012 Summer Games in London, NBC Universal has been providing pay‑TV customers across the country access to every minute of every event live and on demand across multiple devices.
Today, as we approach the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, we are excited to reach another significant milestone for Peacock and NBC Universal.
For the very first time, Peacock will provide everyone anywhere in the country access to live stream every minute of the Olympic and Paralympic games all in one place, on any device, no paid TV subscription required.
Every moment of the action will be available on Peacock, live and on demand, giving our premium‑tier subscribers one comprehensive Olympics destination to easily find and watch what they want, when they want, and where they want.
Customers will be able to easily and simply navigate thousands of hours of live coverage, replays, highlights and analysis, including special events like the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the NBC Nightly Primetime Show, and Peacock original docuseries such as Medaling and American Rock Stars.
Here to tell you more about it is our new president of Peacock, Kelly Campbell.
KELLY CAMPBELL: Thanks, Matt. I don’t think there could be have been a more exciting time to join the team at Peacock and kick off 2022 by delivering viewers across the country some of the biggest and best must‑stream events of the year.
In February alone, Peacock customers will enjoy access to everything from the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl, to the day and date premier of Universal’s Marry Me, and the launch of one of the most anticipated series of the year, Peacock original Bel‑Air.
But it all starts with the Winter Olympic Games on February 2nd. With thousands of hours of live and on‑demand programming, it can be challenging for customers to navigate all of the content, schedules, stories and information they need to access and enjoy the events, the athletes and the teams they care most about.
To create the ultimate Olympics viewing experience for Beijing, we focused our efforts on three key areas ‑‑ simplicity, choice and control.
First, streaming the Olympics should be simple. So we created a one‑stop shop for all Olympics programming on Peacock, where viewers will find every event live and on demand as well as curated highlights, exclusive daily shows, original documentaries and more. Everything Olympics, all in one place.
Next, we wanted to ensure viewers had the ability to watch the Olympics the way that they want to. So for the first time all Olympics programming will be available to all customers across all platforms. Whether you’re a pay-TV customer or a cord cutter, every minute of the Winter Olympics will be easily available to you across NBCU Broadcast and cable networks, NBCOlympics.com or on the premium tier of Peacock.
And lastly, we wanted to ensure that viewers can easily find out when their favorite athletes and teams will be competing. So throughout the Olympics hub on Peacock, we’ll highlight live and upcoming events and provide comprehensive daily schedules, so fans can easily plan on what to stream live and rely on immediate availability of full event replays and curated highlights to catch up on demand at any time.
Now, while the Olympic opening ceremonies are still a couple of weeks away, we’ve put together a sneak peek of what we have in store for Peacock customers.
When you come to Peacock, the biggest Olympic moments will be front and center on the home page, including live programming from NBC and USA Network.
And if you scroll to the right, we’ve created a dedicated Olympics hub in the main navigation. Here, events with Team USA stars, including Nathan Chen, the U.S. women’s hockey team and Chloe Kim are all easy to find just a few clicks away.
As you scroll down the page, live events coverage will be prominently featured. As soon as live events conclude, viewers will have the option to launch full event replays immediately and to browse upcoming schedule coverage.
We know some fans just want to follow their favorite sport, so if you love hockey, scrolling to its own mini hub filters just what you want, live games, catch up on replays, or see what’s coming up.
I’m particularly looking forward to the U.S. versus Canada women’s hockey game, especially after that epic battle in PyeongChang. So let’s click into that matchup.
When I enter the stream, I’ll have full DVR controls, allowing me to pause, rewind and then fast forward, which will help West Coast users like me with those early morning matchups in Beijing.
We also want to make sure you’re always watching the best of what’s happening. So when the game comes to an end, we’ll take you right into the next live event to binge or enable you to choose from a curated selection of related content including on demand replays, original documentaries or postgame analysis.
Now, back in the hockey section, that event is now available as a replay for anyone who may have missed it. And returning to our Olympics home page, it’s easy to find more content for devoted fans.
Our teams are curating the best highlights for top athletes and playlists of the greatest moments, a featured schedule and medal standings to keep you up to date and even Olympics original docuseries, including Meddling and American Rock Stars.
By providing all of the content in one place, and the ability to easily navigate and enjoy every moment of the Games, we are confident that everyone from the most casual to the most passionate Olympics fans will be right at home here on Peacock. So let the Games begin.