Different Time Zones Pose Potential Issue For NBC, 2020 Tokyo Olympics

  • NBC is the main network for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
  • NBC lost money due to the low ratings of PyeongChang 2018 because of the time difference.
  • Tokyo, Japan, and PyeongChang, South Korea are in the same time zone.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The NBC network will be airing the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo but the difference in time zones is looking to be problematic. NBC has a three-event deal over the television viewing rights of the Olympics. Their first of the three-event contract was in 2018 for the Winter Games in South Korea. The 2018 Games recorded the worst viewership of any Olympic event in over 30 years, pulling in an average of about 19 million viewers daily.

No matter how many different ways NBC made the Olympics accessible to watch, the time difference is what caused the problem. Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of the United States. For people that wanted to watch the Games live, it was nearly impossible to fit into their daily schedule. Events taking place at noon in Tokyo would start at 11:00 pm ET on the other side of the world.

To make matters worse, the 2020 Olympics and NBC will be competing with the 2020 Presidential Election debates being aired during the same time. They did not have this problem in 2018. This could lead to potentially even fewer viewers than that of the 2018 numbers.

What’s The Game Plan?

NBC will employ the same ways for everyone to watch the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as they did in 2018. The Games can be streamed online through the network website; however, you must be a cable subscriber. If you do not currently have a cable account, you will not be able to stream from NBC’s site. With a cable package, streaming of the Olympics is a free service.

No Olympic packages will be sold like that of a pay-per-view event. In 2018, services like HULU offered live streaming of the Olympics. OlympicBettingOdds.com has not heard if that will be available for the 2020 Games. Tokyo 2020 will begin on July 24th and run through August 9th.

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