In Ubers, on Peloton bikes, and even bus stops — if there’s a screen, the Winter Olympics will be on it.
NBC is planning the most aggressive rollout of the Winter Games in its history, thanks to a host of content deals that will ensure the events in PyeongChang, South Korea, are nearly impossible to miss.
The effort is also aimed at ensuring increased viewership and revenue from a set of games running from 2014 to 2020, which cost $4.4 billion in rights fees. NBCUniversal has the rights to the Olympics through 2032.
The Olympics will air on the NBC network, NBCSN, CNBC and the USA Network. This year, the Winter Games will air live on both coasts, a first, according to Chris McCloskey, a spokesman for NBC Olympics. The games will also stream at NBCOlympics.com and the NBC network is available on Hulu.
In addition to conventional broadcast and cable, NBC Olympics has knitted together a host of deals that add viewers on an unusual set of screens. The company is providing video highlights to Uber’s car-hailing app and on the video network of the in-home exercise bike Peloton.
When a rider begins a trip on Uber, the Uber app will feature a link to the NBC Olympics site. There will also be in-car interviews with athletes and broadcast announcers as they catch a ride to their events. Meanwhile, NBC Olympics will livestream classes filmed at the games to Peloton users. (NBC is a shareholder in Peloton.)
Olympic content will also appear on the sing-along app Musical.ly, according to Gary Zenkel, NBC Olympics president.
"Media gravity is pushing against the traditional viewing methods and we see new media spaces emerging,” he said, speaking from PyeongChang.
Zenkel added: "The ultimate goal is to capture as much share of that media consumption as we can in order to reassemble the widely fragmented world."
According to Variety, traditional TV viewership of the Rio Games in 2016 was down 18 percent versus the prior summer games from London in 2012. According to NBC, however, the network made record $250 million in profit on those games.
Olympic content is also being delivered to screens on bus shelters and digital signage in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia to whet appetites for the 2,400 hours of coverage coming from PyeongChang. The opening ceremony takes place on Friday.
Other partnerships include an Olympics podcast with Vox and a show about a group of three female snowboarders made by BuzzFeed for Snapchat, according to Zenkel. (NBCUniversal is an investor in all three companies.) NBC Olympics also has a content partnership with Apple News, which will alert viewers to games.
McCloskey, the NBC Olympics spokesperson, said the Winter Games are on track to add more than $100 million in additional advertising revenue, compared to the prior Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, which netted $800 million. NBC sold advertisers such as Toyota on packages that included both the Super Bowl and the Olympic Games.
NBC Olympics are, of course, owned by NBC News' parent company, NBC Universal.