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NBC Revamps Olympic Coverage, Adds Peyton Manning, Kelly Clarkson, More to Host

Photo from Kelly Clarkson’s Instagram

NBC Revamps Olympic Coverage, Adds Peyton Manning, Kelly Clarkson, More to Host

By Movieguide® Contributor

NBCUniversal is hoping to modernize its Olympic coverage by adding celebrity coverage and man-on-the-street interviews to appeal to a wider audience.

The stars currently slated to host primetime recap shows include Peyton Manning, Kelly Clarkson, Mike Tirico, Snoop Dog and Jimmy Fallon, along with multiple social media stars. In the past, top NCB news hosts would have spearheaded the daily highlights.

“This kind of celebrity wouldn’t have been part of NBC Olympics coverage in the past. Now it’s one of the foundational elements,” said Rick Corella, president of NCB Sports. “We’ve got to be innovating, trying things differently, trying to match where the media world is in 2024.”

Other “modern” features include heart rate monitors on parents of those competing, along with a slew of digital stats and data satisfying the desires of the most diehard sports fans.

“Everything we’ve done has been starting from scratch,” said Jenny Storms, chief marketing officer of entertainment and sports for NBCUniversal. “It’s been an exercise in bravery, taking something you have done for so long and starting as if you’ve never done it before.”

This massive overhaul is being undertaken to improve dismal viewership numbers. While the Olympics have long been cultural moments, their impact has greatly waned over the past decade. The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics suffered from a time zone mismatch, while the 2021 Tokyo Games (delayed from 2020 by COVID-19) generated even less hype.

The Tokyo games saw a 42% drop in viewership over the previous games in Rio, averaging only 15.5 million viewers per day. Fearing another decline, NBCUniversal is taking this risk with the hope of a big payout.

While the broadcast programming will largely center around a widespread audience, diehard sports fans will still have access to every single moment of the games via Peacock’s multiple streams. The streaming service will also offer a channel—Gold Zone—for the most exciting events, akin to the NFL Red Zone.

“[Gold Zone] should be perhaps one of the more sought after and viewed streams that we offer,” said Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics.

NBCUniversal estimates that 20% of its Olympic viewership will come from streaming, a number it expects to continue to rise in subsequent years.

“Whether they’re watching linear or digital, we don’t really care,” said Dan Lovinger, an NBC ad-sales executive. “We monetize all platforms. I’m very confident that this will be the most supported Olympic Games of all time—in dollars. That’s what we count.”

This new approach to covering the Olympics will largely serve as a test run for the 2028 edition, which will take place in Los Angeles—the first games to occur in America since 2002. While games in the U.S. always boost viewership, this modernized approach could cause those games’ viewership to be extraordinary, assuming the new tactics work.

Movieguide® previously reported on the 2024 Paris Olympics:

NBCUniversal will add some new features to Peacock for Summer Olympics fans.

“New features of note are Live Actions and Discovery Multiview, which is aimed at helping viewers find and engage more deeply with Olympic programming,” Deadline reported.

“The former lets viewers select events during live and primetime coverage and create their own feed comprised of only the sports they are interested in seeing. During live coverage, viewers can either keep watching live or stay with ‘whip-around’ coverage. In the social media era, the time-tested whip-around approach has come under scrutiny given that results are often known, sapping coverage of drama,” Deadline said.

Peacock will cover over 5,000 hours of live footage at the game in Paris from July 26 to Aug. 11. NBCUniversal hopes the enhanced features draw more viewers to its platform.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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