NBC Will Air the Upcoming Paralympics During Primetime
On Thursday, NBCUniversal announced it will air 1,200 hours of Paralympics event coverage across its channels, including during primetime TV hours for the first time ever.
— Paralympic Games (@Paralympics) February 25, 2021
The upcoming Paralympics are set to take place this summer in Tokyo, Japan. NBC will cover the games across several of its networks and digital platforms, including NBC, NBCSN, its streaming service Peacock, NBC Sports and NBCOlympics.com. The Paralympics opening and closing ceremonies will air on NBCSN.
Other programming will collate top stories and moments from daily Paralympics events while also profiling competing athletes. According to WTHR, NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel said he expected about 4 hours of Paralympics coverage to air during primetime, the highly viewed hours between 8–11 p.m. ET/PT.
The Olympics have long gotten airtime during prime TV viewing hours. The Paralympics, dedicated to athletes with disabilities, has not, despite equally high levels of athleticism. An estimated 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability, and nearly 25% of those in the U.S.
As media organizations aim to increase disability representation, Paralympic athletes celebrated NBC’s decision to both increase its coverage of the games and move some of that airtime to prime viewing hours.
“I’m so ecstatic,” said Jessica Long, a 13-time Paralympic gold medalist swimmer. “It’s time to show the world the diversity in disability and challenges we face, but also how incredible we are. It is nice being showcased for our work and elite-ness.”
This is why representation is so important. Because of Jessica Long's touching Super Bowl ad, Myah has a new dream.
(via IG/schneiderlv15) pic.twitter.com/mOTUpazCvn
— On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) February 11, 2021
The Tokyo Paralympic Games, which were postponed due to COVID-19, will take place from Aug. 24 through Sept. 5 and will air in the U.S. across NBC’s platforms.