NBCU to Livestream Olympic Opening Ceremonies

Spots promoting games to air Super Sunday
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STAMFORD, CONN.—Broadcasting the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 and the Olympics starting Feb. 8, NBCUniversal is calling next month The Best Feb Ever, according to NBC Sports Group chair Mark Lazarus.

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At a press briefing in New York Wednesday, NBCU said that for the first time it will stream the Opening Ceremonies live. An edited version will be shown later in prime time.

The NBCU platforms will feature more live coverage than any previous Winter Games and more than 2,400 hours in all, Lazarus said.

There will be figure skating on 12 of 18 nights and live skiing on 11 of 18 nights.

NBCU’s primetime coverage will be aired live in all timezones for the first time.

Lazarus noted Wednesday morning 's news that North and South Korean had agreed to have their athletes march together during the opening parade of nations. “The Olympics are proving again to be better than politics at bringing the world together,” he said.

NBCU has also created five one-minute spots promoting the Olympics that will air on Super Bowl Sunday. One will air during the pre-game show, another just before kickoff, the third during half time, the fourth just after the final gun and the last during an episode of the hit This Is Us, which will air after the post game show. “This Is Us will be followed by an episode of the “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” originating from Minneapolis, where the game is being played.

One of the spots will be previewed each day on the “Today” show in the week leading up to the Super Bowl.

No network has ever had the two huge TV event in the same season. The tight timing will “allow us to market, package and sell the, giving marketers a very unique opportunity.

Lazarus said he expected the Olympics to turn a profit, but he declined to say how much money it would generate.

NBCUniversal will been using all of its assets, employing its Symphony approach, to promote the Olympics for an unprecedented five weeks. In return, “we will use this great event and large audience to promote other properties like ‘This Is Us,’ the ‘Today’ show,the ‘Nightly News,’ the theme parks and Universal pictures,” Lazarus said.

NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel noted that PyongChang is ready for the games: “The paint is dry. The road is striped. They could host these games today.” 

NBC is ready too, with more than 90 miles of cable strung and studios set up inside and on the roof of the International Broadcast Center.

NBCU will be distributing clips and highlights to a number of digital partners including Snapchat, which will run a show dedicated to four female snowboarders, Vox, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon Echo, Google Home, Musical.ly and Refinery

More than 20 Olympic advertisers have extended their buys to include the Snapchat platform, he said.

Lazarus said NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl LII will include the first ever use of the dual Skycam system, which provides a players’ eye view from the middle of the field, 3D imaging of key players, an all-new graphics package and a new opening song from Carrie Underwood.

The Super Bowl should also generate advertising sales records for a single day, with NBC being the first network to average more than $5 million per 30-second spot for the NFL’s championship game, annually TV’s most watched program.

This story originally appeared on TVT's sister publication B&C