Plans for Tokyo Olympics move forward, NBC to air opening ceremony live for Americans

The 2020 summer games were postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus, but the rescheduled date of July 2021 is holding strong.
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2022 Winter Olympics
Opening ceremonies at 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing
(Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng via Getty Images)

Plans for the summer Olympics in Tokyo are moving forward, and NBC has announced that they will broadcast the opening ceremony live for Americans, something never done before outside of North America due to the substantial time differences.

As the start of the games neared in recent weeks, speculation increased about whether Japan officials would call off the games, which were postponed in summer 2020. 

Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of U.S. time of the East Coast. Opening ceremonies will begin Friday, July 23 at 8 p.m., which will be 7 a.m in New York and 4 a.m. in California.

Molly Solomon, the executive producer and president of NBC Olympics, says the TV network decided to host the opening ceremony live because of the pandemic creating a global significance for gathering and changing viewing habits, according to the Associated Press.

"I think like so many of us, people’s lives have changed," she said. "And after we had all been locked down for a few months, the postponed Olympics, and its meaning, I think became very clear that it will be an incredibly moving moment in sports and in the world when the world comes together."

NBC's Mike Tirico and Katie Couric covered the Korean winter Olympics three years ago. The network has yet to make a final decision about who will host for this year's games.