2020 Toyko Olympics Rescheduled

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are just one of the many major events being delayed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak across the world. Since gathering hundreds of thousands of people together for athletic events isn’t wise during a time of widespread illness, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were pushed to an undetermined time. But now the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has set new dates for late summer in 2021, giving everyone “the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”

IOC President Thomas Bach, Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshiro, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko and Olympic and Paralympic Minister Hashimoto Seiko held a conference call today to agree to the new dates for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which are now set to unfold from July 23 through August 8 in 2021. They will be followed by the Paralympics from August 24 through September 5.

In the official statement from the IOC, the organization’s President Thomas Bach said:

“I want to thank the International Federations for their unanimous support and the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees for the great partnership and their support in the consultation process over the last few days. I would also like to thank the IOC Athletes’ Commission, with whom we have been in constant contact. With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge. Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”

The 2020 Toyko Olympics were undoubtedly the biggest event to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. NBCUniversal paid $4.4 billion for the U.S. media rights to all four of the Olympic games that happened from 2014 through 2020. That deal was recently extended through 2032 to the tune of $12 billion. Pushing the games back to 2021 will be a big blow to NBCUniversal’s earnings this year, not to mentioning leaving their summer schedule wide open.

Obviously, NBCUniversal will still get to air the games in 2021 across as many platforms as possible, but that doesn’t help the lack of money they were expecting for 2020. The media giant had already sold 90% of its commercials for the Olympic games, according to The LA Times. In fact, the $1.25 billion they had already brought in had broken the record for advertising during the Olympics previously set by the 2016 Games in Rio de Janiero. It was projected this year’s games would earn 6% more in ad revenue.

Not only does this create a problem for NBCUniversal’s bottom dollar, but it somewhat takes away a major selling point for NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service Peacock. The service will still be pushing forward with a debut later this year, but not having the Olympics will certainly hurt. However, since much of the population is practicing social distancing and self-containment at this time, NBCUniversal may still find themselves with a successful launch for the streaming service.

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