NBCU Builds Olympics App for NCTC, Verizon Set-Top Boxes

NBCU Olympics
(Image credit: NBCU)

NBCUniversal said it has built a set-top-box app for 3 million NCTC and Verizon Fios video customers that will deliver a stadium full of content during the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The app was designed by the NBCU Content Distribution team to make it easier to find new and stored Olympic content in one destination. 

Among the features of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games App are more than a thousand curated Olympic videos on demand, discovery and navigation features, personalization by sport, and up-to-date standings by sport. Some homes will be able to get dynamic tune-in to NBCU networks.

Verizon Fios will carry NBC Universal's coverage of the Olympic Games in 4K Ultra HD, giving customers access to 4K broadcasts on Fios TV One.

NBCU said it plans to create similar apps for upcoming events. After the Olympics, NBCU will have the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics and the World Cup on its Telemundo Spanish-language network.

Also Read: Telemundo's Ray Warren Sees Soccer as Key to Olympic Goals

"Premium multi-platform experiences drive greater linear ratings and VOD engagement," said Matt Bond, chairman, content distribution, NBCUniversal. "The combination of NBCUniversal's editorial and technological resources with NCTC's and Verizon's footprints around this global event is a win for all involved. We look forward to working with all of our distribution partners on opportunities to scale this work around tentpole events for years to come."

The upcoming games have raised concern because of the COVID situation in Japan. Still the games are forecast to generate a record $2.25 billion in ad revenue in the U.S., according to Kantar.

NBCU's parent Comcast, has set up expansive Olympic features for its cable Xfinity X1 customers as well as its broadband only Flex users.

Xfinity TV customers will be able to get all 7,000 hours of NBCU's live, on demand and streaming Olympic coverage via X1 and the Stream app.

Olympic content can be accessed by saying "Olympics" into the Xfinity remote control. 

Comcast has also developed a bunch of special voice commands and personalizations to let customers find Olympic content quickly.

The Olympic destination can be personalized by sport, and customers can arrange to be notified when events they want to see are about to start or when must-see performances have occurred.

Also Read: U.S. Service Members Can Stream NBCU’s Olympics Via Exchange

Every sport and every top athlete and major nation will have its own voice-enabled X1 destination.

On Xfinity Flex, users will be able to access an integrated experience by saying "Olympics" into the Xfinity voice remote.

The experience includes on-demand programming including six themed channels, four live studio shows, live coverage of gymnastics, track & field, and the U.S. men’s basketball team.

Comcast will be integrating content on Peacock alongside Olympic related video from sources including YouTube, HBO Max and Prime Video.

Flex customers wanting more Olympic coverage can upgrade to Xfinity TV via the stream app so they can access NBC's live coverage, as well as Olympic competition and highlights on Telemundo, the Olympic Channel and Universo.

“For years, X1 has set the bar as the most innovative and technologically-advanced Olympics viewing experience. This year, new features make navigating the Games even easier and more personalized, taking the Olympics experience to a new level,” said Rebecca Heap, senior VP, video and entertainment services, Comcast Cable. “And now with Flex, we have the opportunity to leverage some of the best features of X1, like our voice remote and aggregated guide, to introduce the Olympics and all its passion, exhilaration and glory to even more Xfinity customers.”

NBC will have 17 consecutive nights over primetime coverage and 250 hours of Olympic programming over all. NBC's primetime will be live across all time zones, with coverage spilling into late night following local newscasts. Mike Tirico will host NBC's primetime coverage, which will focus on swimming, gymnastics, track & field, diving and beach volleyball.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.