The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea will be a whole new experience if you want to watch sports live. NBC announced that the network will broadcast live across all time zones, which will make things very interesting.
The time difference between the East Coast and Pyeongchang is 13 hours, with the West Coast being 16 hours behind. This means that events beginning at 9 a.m. local time will have a start time of 8 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively, and inversely we’ll see marquee primetime events in the early morning. The network explained the decision to the New York Times.
“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,” Jim Bell, president for NBC Olympics production and programming, said in a statement. “This is exciting news for the audience, the advertisers and our affiliates alike.”
This means that events like figure skating and snowboarding will be airing like around 6 or 7 a.m. East Coast time, before being replayed in primetime. The decision to air all the games live is a departure from previous games where live events were relegated to channels deep on the cable dial, or only see through online streaming.
The 2016 summer games in Rio saw a downtick in viewers of traditional television broadcasts, but a 29 percent jump in streaming.
(h/t New York Times)