NBC Details Live Coverage Plans for Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

Tokyo Olympics Rings
Clive Rose/Getty Images

The Summer Olympics is moving forward (though there’s still talk COVID could throw a wrench in things) , and NBC has just announced its coverage plan for the July 2021 games, including it starting a live broadcast of the opening ceremony very (very) early in the morning.

The ceremony, scheduled for Friday, July 23, will be an all-day event, with NBC’s broadcast beginning at 3:55 a.m. PT and 6:55 a.m. ET. (Japan is 13 hours ahead of the east coast.) After the ceremony, there will be a special edition of Today with athlete interviews and reactions, followed by NBC’s first-ever Olympic Daytime show.

Primetime coverage of opening day will start at 7:30 p.m. ET. on July 23, with focus on Team USA, the performances, pageantry, and Parade of Nations. That will be replayed overnight.

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The Opening Ceremony in Tokyo is slated to be the first major global gathering since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

“Given the magnitude of this event, we want to provide viewers with as many ways to connect to it as possible, live or in primetime,” Pete Bevacqua, chairman, NBC Sports Group, said in a statement.

“Athletes are the heart of the Olympic movement, and the Opening Ceremony will be a global celebration of their dedication and resilience during their long journey to Tokyo,” Gary Zenkel, president, NBC Olympics, said in the same statement.

Additional details for the Opening Ceremony and the more than 7,000 hours of coverage planned for the Summer Games — including digital and streaming plans — will be released closer to their start dates.

Check out the schedule for NBC’s Tokyo Olympics’ programming for July 23 below:

All times ET:

6:55 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Live Opening Ceremony Coverage
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Special Edition of TODAY
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Tokyo Olympics Daytime
7:30 p.m. – Midnight: Primetime Opening Ceremony
12:35 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. (July 24): Overnight Replay of Opening Ceremony

All Times PT:

3:55 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.: Live Opening Ceremony Coverage
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Special Edition of TODAY
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Tokyo Olympics Daytime
4:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: Primetime Opening Ceremony
9:10 p.m. – 1:10 a.m.: Opening Ceremony Primetime Encore
1:10 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. (July 24): Overnight Replay of Opening Ceremony