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Report: NBC Won’t Send Announcers to Winter Olympics Over COVID-19 Concerns

Less than three weeks before the opening ceremony for the 2022 Beijing Olympics, NBC will reportedly not be sending its announcer teams to China, instead opting to execute the broadcasts remotely.

“The announce teams for these Olympics, including figure skating, will be calling events from our Stamford (Conn.) facility due to COVID concerns,” NBC Sports senior vice president of communications Greg Hughes said, per Christine Brennan of USA Today. “We’ll still have a large presence on the ground in Beijing and our coverage of everything will be first-rate as usual, but our plans are evolving by the day as they are for most media companies covering the Olympics.”

NBC’s Olympics host, Mike Tirico, will still be in Beijing for the opening ceremony and the first few days of the Games, but he will leave to call Super Bowl LVI, which will be played on Feb. 13.

While NBC had already planned on keeping some of its announcer teams in Stamford, this change comes as a response to concerns over the omicron variant and the risk of media members testing positive and having to quarantine while in Beijing. The network used a similar strategy for the Tokyo Games last year.

“The Beijing model is going to be very similar to Tokyo in that the heartbeat of our Olympic operation will actually be in Stamford, Conn., at our NBC Sports headquarters,” NBC Olympics production president and executive producer Molly Solomon said. “We’ll have more personnel there than in the host city.”

The 2022 Winter Olympics are slated to commence on Feb. 4 and will run through Feb. 20.

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