For more than two weeks in 2020, NBCUniversal’s Olympics coverage from Tokyo will be all over the company’s television and digital properties. Now, some of NBC’s live coverage of the games will be on another platform: Twitter.
NBC Olympics and the social media platform have teamed up to bring live content from the Olympics to the platform during the summer games, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan next year. The content deal, which the companies announced Thursday, will include a daily 20-minute live morning show aired exclusively on Twitter that will recap competition highlights, feature interviews with Olympic athletes and will include news about the goings-on in Tokyo during the games.
The partnership will also include one live look at one of the competitions featured in NBC Olympics’ coverage. The focus of that live look, which could include a focus on a specific athlete, sport or other moment, will be determined daily by Twitter users who vote on what content they’d like to see in a Twitter poll.
NBC Olympics will also post real-time highlight clips from the games.
“We have had a long and effective Olympic relationship with Twitter, which provides a perfect complement to our coverage and is an ideal platform for the massive social conversation that occurs during every Olympic Games,” Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics, said in a statement about the partnership. “Over the last four Games, we have worked with Twitter to fuel the Olympic conversation and connect fans and brands with the cultural moments that unite the nation and the world. We are now taking that conversation to the next level by offering a daily 20-minute morning show live from Tokyo and opening a daily live window to peek into the NBC primetime broadcast.”
The partnership will come into full force a year from now, but it will begin months before the Olympic games kick off on July 24, 2020. Beginning in February of next year, NBC Olympics will start teasing the biennial sporting event with highlights from the U.S. Olympic Team Trials and other pre-games content.
For advertisers, the deal marks yet another opportunity for Olympic sponsorships, which make up a considerable portion of NBCUniversal’s advertising revenue. Ads for the live content on NBCUniversal and Twitter will be sold as Twitter in-stream sponsorships. NBC Olympics will lead the sales process, and Twitter will provide some additional sales resources, the companies said.
The Olympics, the rights for which NBCUniversal owns through 2032, remains a tentpole event for NBCUniversal because of its massive advertising opportunities. Earlier this week, Dan Lovinger, evp of advertising sales at NBC Sports Group, said the company anticipated it would bring in more than $1.2 billion in advertising revenue for the duration of the summer games.
For Twitter, bringing Olympics content to the platform is the latest in a series of partnerships centered around adding sports fandom conversations to the platform. The company has in the last several years struck up deals with sports leagues like Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association to have complementary live sports programming on the platform, and earlier this year it partnered with Fox Sports to bring a live show centered around the 2019 Women’s World Cup to the platform.