In a world where streaming on dozens of different devices is on the rise and cable television is on the decline, there’s really not such a thing as “primetime” any more. Or, perhaps more accurately, people don’t want to wait for primetime. That’s why in 2018, NBC will broadcast the Pyeong Chang Olympics live in all time zones – no more showing premier events on a delay in evening hours.
That means live Olympics coverage will be shown in prime time, morning, and even late night. Of course, NBC will still have a prime time broadcast (starting at 8 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central, 6 p.m. Mountain and 5 p.m. Pacific).
Following the Olympics broadcast each night will be local news, then a Primetime Plus show, with even more live coverage. After Primetime Plus, there will be a re-airing of the primetime broadcast.
“Nothing brings America together for two weeks like the Olympics, and that communal experience will now be shared across the country at the same time, both on television and streaming online,” said NBC Olympics Production and Programming president Jim Bell. “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. This is exciting news for the audience, the advertisers, and our affiliates alike.”
Another big change for NBC’s 2018 Pyeong Chang Olympics is that coverage will be hosted by Mike Tirico, after Bob Costas, who has hosted since 1992, stepped away.
NBC is trying a similar “cross time zone” approach with the final four episodes of this Saturday Night Live season. With ratings for the show the highest they’ve been in more than 20 years, and with spoilers hitting the web as soon as the East coast sees them, NBC thought it was best to let everyone share in the fun at once.