Olympic Opening Ceremonies 2021: TV Broadcast and Online Live-Stream Info

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2021

A barge with the Olympic rings mounted on it floats in the water ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 17, 2021, in Tokyo. The pandemic-delayed games open on July 23. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

After a year's delay, the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics is finally almost upon us.

The Games are set to begin not without continued controversy; from the vast majority of the Japanese public being against holding the Olympics this summer to Japan declaring a state of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier in July, these Olympics will be remembered for far more than athlete performances and medal counts.

In spite of it all, more than 11,000 athletes are arriving in Tokyo for their shot at representing their nations, 205 of which are set to participate in this year's Games.

That they will be able to do so without the specter of COVID-19 hanging over them, however, is far from guaranteed.

Ahead of Friday's opening ceremony, athletes have tested positive inside the Olympic village. Two South African soccer players, Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi, were confirmed by their National Olympic Committee (NOC) to have tested positive and gone into isolation, along with a team video analyst.

With athletes from 205 nations set to continue arriving in Tokyo, a lot could happen between now and the scheduled start of the opening ceremony. For now, however, the following information is accurate as to when the ceremony will be held and where it will be broadcast.


Olympic Opening Ceremony TV and Live-Stream Info

Date: Friday, July 23

Time: 7 a.m. EST

Rebroadcast: 7:30 p.m. EST

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: Peacock, NBCOlympics.com


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The Eastern Time Zone is 13 hours behind Tokyo, so most people who want to watch the Olympics live will be watching them in the morning (sometimes extremely early). Events will also be broadcast in prime time on tape delay.

For those who want to see the opening ceremony live, they will have to get up bright and early Friday morning; the live NBC broadcast will begin at 7 a.m. EST.

The opening ceremony, which includes the parade of nations, the arrival of the torch relay and the lighting of the cauldron and the artistic program, is set to run about four hours.

Per International Olympic Committee (IOC) guidelines, the names of the nations will be announced in French, followed by English and Japanese, the official languages of the Olympic movement and that of the host nation.

During the opening ceremony, the host country puts on a spectacle meant to represent and share its culture and traditions with the world. Because of the pandemic, for the first time in the Olympics history, some portions of Japan's spectacle will be filmed off-site.

The program is also expected to include an exhibition flight by Blue Impulse, the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force's aerobatics squadron. The flight, which will honor healthcare workers, is expected to include drawing the Olympic rings in the sky.

As spectators, even those who live in Japan, have been banned from these Games because of the state of emergency, there will be no live audience for the opening ceremony, save for the athletes who choose to participate and a maximum of six officials from each nation's delegation.