In one of the greatest demonstrations of how popular Twitch has become, the streaming site will host the 2021 Olympic Games. To a degree, anyway.
TV network NBC, which has broadcasting rights for the Olympics in the United States, has partnered with Twitch to broadcast official coverage of the 2021 Tokyo Games. Unfortunately, it’s unclear exactly how much coverage will be offered when the games begin.
Twitch and NBC will be collaborating to produce original content for the platform including a daily highlights show and extra content that involves the competitors. Ahead of the Olympic Games, there will be an interactive game that tasks players with keeping the Olympic Torch going en route to the opening ceremony. There will also be some level of co-streaming that involves established Twitch streamers.
BREAKING: In a bid to get its #TokyoGames programming in front of a younger audience, @NBCOlympics is partnering with @Twitch on a channel to carry live Olympic content, including a daily live studio show produced from Tokyo (@Ourand_SBJ).
— Sports Business Journal (@sbjsbd) May 6, 2021
While the ideal situation for the Olympics on Twitch would be live broadcasts of each sport, many of which are typically ignored by NBC’s official network broadcast, that’s unlikely to be the case here. It’s unclear whether there will be any live coverage on Twitch and NBC is likely to point interested parties in the direction of its own streaming services rather than giving it away for free.
Nonetheless, this is an enormous coup for Twitch. The International Olympic Committee is vicious when it comes to protecting its broadcasting rights, something that also applies to the regional networks that cover the Olympic Games. Alongside Twitch, NBC is also set to partner with Snapchat and Twitter for Tokyo Games coverage.
Twitch’s 2021 Olympic Games coverage will be broadcast on the official NBC Olympics Twitch channel. Coverage will begin ahead of the Olympics, and Twitch will offer fans both exclusive content and daily recaps.
The 2021 Olympic Games are currently set to run from July 23 to August 8. Though this date comes after several delays due to health concerns and travel restrictions, IOC member Dick Pound stated that those dates are firm at this point.
“As of today, everything we know and everything that we’re following with both Japan and public health authorities and the Olympic movement, we are go for July 23rd…Everything is in place for arrival, ongoing testing, creation of the bubble, and so forth, to the point where everything is quite satisfied,” Pound told CBC.
Expect an official schedule for Twitch’s 2021 Olympics coverage to come closer to the start of the games.