How Will NBC React If Coronavirus Cancels the Summer Olympics?
Depending on the options, it could benefit or hurt the network
Will the Tokyo Olympics be canceled or rescheduled due to coronavirus-related concerns? So far, the answer is no — but like so many things right now, that could change at a moment’s notice. At Vulture, Josef Adalian explores one of the potential side effects of a canceled Olympics — namely, how it would affect NBC’s plans to provide coverage of the games.
The short version is that a delay would be much less harmful to NBC than a full-on cancellation, and it might even work out better for the network. Better, you say? Here’s Adalian’s explanation of that:
Let’s say, for example, the event was pushed to early September. Such a move would put the Games in even closer proximity to the start of the fall TV season, giving the network an ideal promotional platform from which to hype its new and returning shows.
One area that might make things more complex: if a theoretically-delayed Summer Olympics ended up overlapping with the NFL season.
Adalian also notes that, with a writers’ strike possibly taking place, a delayed Olympics could “cushion the blow a bit.” Complete cancellations of the Summer Olympics have taken place before, but only due to world wars; if this year’s Olympics are canceled outright, it would make for a blow to NBC’s earnings for the year.
One other issue that Adalian points out is that NBC had planned to use their new streaming service, Peacock, which the network is planning to promote during its Olympics coverage. Peacock is set to have a large-scale launch in July; if the Summer Olympics’ timeframe is altered, the new streaming service might be affected. There are plenty of moving parts here, and few easy answers.
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