I love the Olympic Games, yet I loathe NBC’s coverage of the games. Since cutting cable nearly a decade ago, my Olympic viewing is limited to NBC’s prime-time rebroadcasts. NBC launched the Peacock streaming service earlier this year. I purchased a subscription thinking it would be a hub of Olympic content. Unfortunately, I’m now convinced NBC doesn’t understand streaming.
NBC aired the Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony live this morning. Peacock did not. There’s an entire Olympics tab in the Peacock app, yet the Opening Ceremony was absent until about an hour after the broadcast began. The app wasn’t even airing a time-delayed version. Instead, it announced the games would be “available to stream” at 6:00 am tomorrow. Why wait?
Scrolling through the Peacock app’s Olympic tab shows no indications any sports will be available live. There’s a whole schedule for when previously aired soccer matches will stream, but no live schedules. It appears NBC launched an entire streaming network and failed to add their premier exclusive content.
There are three new Peacock Olympics “channels,” the 24/7 stream of random NBC/Universal content. As I type this, the Parade of Nations is airing over-the-air live on NBC. Yet, Peacock’s live channels are airing “Golden: The Journey of USA’s Elite Gymnasts,” “Great Moments in Olympic History,” and “Must-See Olympic Moments.”
With rights to the Olympics, NBC had a chance to turn Peacock into a competitor of ESPN+. A streaming app filled with live and on-demand Olympic sports. Instead, NBC is content for Peacock to compete with Pluto, the free 24/7 stream of outdated reruns and nonstop tape-delayed Today Show segments.
Maybe NBC has big plans once the games begin. Maybe Peacock will go through a significant transition later today. I hope this happens, but I’m not holding my breath. NBC hasn’t sent a single Peacock email about the Olympic Games. This week, Apple has promoted season two of Ted Lasso more than Peacock advertised the Olympics.
Peacock provided a significant opportunity to revolutionize coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Instead, it only highlights that NBC doesn’t understand streaming.