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US Paris Olympics Viewers Get 'Live' Events

FILE: The Olympic rings are seen in front of the Hotel de Ville City Hall in Paris, France. Taken March 14, 2023.
FILE: The Olympic rings are seen in front of the Hotel de Ville City Hall in Paris, France. Taken March 14, 2023.

WASHINGTON - Swimming, gymnastics and track & field fans watching the 2024 Paris Olympics can rejoice. For the first time in a European Olympics, those events will be televised live on network television in the United States.

U.S. TV network NBC will have at least nine hours of weekday daytime coverage, expanding to at least 11 hours on weekends.

With Paris six hours ahead of New York, the marquee finals will air live in the morning or late afternoon.

NBCUniversal's Peacock streaming service will have every sport and event live, including all 329 medal events, from July 26-Aug. 11, 2024.

“The Paris Olympics are going to be the most binge-worthy event of 2024,” said Pete Bevacqua, Chairman, NBC Sports. “For those wanting to watch the competition as it happens, Peacock will have everything live, creating the greatest single destination in sports media history."

Most fans have wanted to watch Olympic events live. NBCUniversal has done that in the past with most sports, using its sister channels for around-the-clock coverage, but has kept the marquee events and finals.

During the Tokyo Games two years ago, the only way to watch gymnastics finals live was on Peacock.

U.S. viewers streamed 5.5 billion minutes from Tokyo, a 22% increase over Rio in 2016, according to NBC and ratings agency Nielsen.

NBC is hoping the expanded hours will help ratings rebound after the Tokyo and 2022 Beijing winter games, which were held in pandemic conditions without fans.

Tokyo averaged 15.6 million prime-time viewers, including cable and streaming. That was down 42% from Rio. Beijing fared worse, with a combined average of 11.4 million.

This will be the first time since 2012 that a Summer Games are being in held in Europe. The London Games marked the first time NBC had a site devoted to streaming every event live by using the Olympics world feed. That meant track fans could stream the 100 meter finals live while most waited until watching the taped coverage on NBC.

“I think this is going to be a chance for fans to engage in ways that they haven’t really been able to before, because you’re going to have all of these content options,” said Peacock president Kelly Campbell. “We’re giving people this flexibility to watch and enhance the viewing experience."