NBC to Air Tokyo Olympic Ceremony as Live Morning Broadcast

NBC Tokyo Olympics
(Image credit: NBC Sports)

STAMFORD, Conn.—For the first time as the broadcast home of the Olympics, NBC has announced that it will air the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics during a live morning broadcast. The Opening Ceremony, taking place on July 23, will be part of daylong network coverage of the first Friday of the Games.

The Opening Ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. in Tokyo, which equates to 7 a.m. ET. NBC will begin its coverage of the events at 6:55 a.m. ET and live across all time zones.

NBC will follow up its coverage of the Opening Ceremony with a special two-hour episode of “Today” that will react to the ceremony and feature athlete interviews. “Today” will be followed by NBC’s new Olympic daytime show. NBC will conclude the day with a primetime Opening Ceremony presentation and then an overnight replay.

“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,” Pete Bevacqua, chairman, NBC Sports Group, said in a press release. “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.”

Here is the official rundown of NBC’s opening day coverage of the Tokyo Olympics for July 23:

  • 6:55-11 a.m. ET - Live Opening Ceremony Coverage 
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. - Special Edition of "Today"
  • 1-4 p.m. - Tokyo Olympics Daytime 
  • 7:30 p.m.-12 a.m. - Primetime Opening Ceremony
  • 12:35-5 a.m. - Overnight Replay of Opening Ceremony 

NBC’s multiplatform Olympic coverage will actually begin on July 21, with preliminary soccer and softball games.

There have been reports questioning whether or not the Olympics will take place this year or if they will be cancelled as a result of lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of this time,  the International Olympic Committee or the Japanese government plan to go ahead with the games.