“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 Jim Bell, President, NBC Olympics Production & Programming. “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.”
On most nights of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the primetime broadcast will begin at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, and 5 p.m. PT. It will be followed in all time zones by local news, and then a Primetime Plus program, consisting of live continuing coverage from PyeongChang. A replay of the primetime program will follow Primetime Plus.
All-time-zone live coverage seems to be taking root in the industry. NBC’s live Olympics coverage plan comes on the heels of the network’s announcement to air the last four episodes of this season’s Saturday Night Live live across the country, with the Western and Mountain Time zones joining the East so the entire country can share the experience at the same time. Driven by the show’s political satire, SNL is seeing its highest ratings in 24 years.
There’s also another first for the 2018 Winter Games. It will be the first without Bob Costas, who had served as host of the primetime program for NBC since 1992. As the network announced last month, Mike Tirico will take over for Costas, who decided that it was “the right time to step away.”
NBC’s PyeongChang primetime coverage begins Thursday, February 8, 2018. The Opening Ceremony takes place on Friday, February 9, 2018.