American broadcaster NBC will show coverage of next year’s Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang live in real time across all time zones, it has been announced.
The company have been criticized in the past for screening many of the top events at the Games, such as the Opening Ceremony and men’s 100 meter final, on time delay to maximize the audience.
But the network has confirmed that will not be the case at Pyeongchang 2018, scheduled to run from February 9 to 25.
According to Jim Bell, President for NBC Olympics production and programming, the move was made to ensure people following the action on social media platforms do not witness the event before it is shown on television screens.
“That means social media won’t be ahead of the action in any time zone, and as a result, none of our viewers will have to wait for anything,” he said in a statement published in the New York Times.
“This is exciting news for the audience, the advertisers and our affiliates alike.”
In November, it was revealed figure skating finals in Pyeongchang, which usually take place in the evening, would be held in the morning session to suit television audiences in the US.
Pyeongchang, located around 130 kilometers from South Korean capital Seoul, is currently 13 hours in front of New York, which would mean competitions staged in the morning would fit in with American evening television schedules.
NBC, which paid a sum of $7.65 billion to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for exclusive rights to broadcast all Summer and Winter Olympics until 2032, enjoys large influence.
According to the draft schedule of events at the 2018 Winter Olympics, the first-ever edition of the event to take place in South Korea, figure skating would start at 10 a.m. local time and conclude at 2 p.m.
Snowboarding is among the other sports likely to take place earlier in the day to appease the American viewers.
Prior to Rio 2016, NBC reportedly asked the Organizing Committee to change the order of the Parade of Nations at the Opening Ceremony so that the US appeared later in the broadcast.
The Portuguese name for the US – Estados Unidos – meant the country appeared early on as the nations march in alphabetical order.
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.