NBC is among the many television broadcasting companies set to be impacted by the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games until 2021.
Both NBC and its parent company Comcast are heavily invested in the Olympics, with the former having held the American broadcasting rights to the Summer Olympic Games since 1988 and the rights to the Winter Olympic Games since 2002.
As reported by CNN Business, yesterday’s announcement that Tokyo 2020 will be delayed until next year impacts multiple parts of NBC, from the network’s advertising revenue business to the promotion of its new streaming service, Peacock.
"This is significant to NBC because they've built their brand around it," Jay Rosenstein, a former vice-president of programming at CBS Sports, told CNN Business.
"They're the network of the Olympics.
"The Peacock is intertwined with the Olympic rings."
Rosenstein added that the Olympics is more than just a two-week operation for NBC.
"They have to prepare for it for years," he said.
"Pausing and restarting it is a big challenge.
"It's also an additional challenge because the Beijing Winter Games in 2022 would likely only be six months later now."
Patrick Crakes, a media consultant and former Fox Sports executive, described the Olympics as a "top-five investment for Comcast".
"Every two years the whole company goes all in to present one of the world's unifying premiere events," he told CNN Business.
"It's the equivalency of turning around an aircraft carrier to do this all again next year."
NBC Sports said yesterday that it fully understands the decision to postpone Tokyo 2020.
"We have no doubt that the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and Tokyo Organising Committee will put on an exceptional Games next year and the Olympic Flame will once again unite the world and provide a light at the end of this tunnel," said a spokesperson for the broadcaster.
Another television network affected by the postponement is Discovery, the parent company of Eurosport which had pledged to present "the most comprehensive digital coverage of a summer edition of the Olympic Games ever for Europe" at Tokyo 2020.
Following yesterday's announcement, Discovery withdrew its previous 2020 fiscal performance outlook statement.
As reported by the International Broadcasting Convention, it stated the Olympics-driven operating loss will cause a hit between $175 million (£148 million/€162 million) and $200 million (£170 million/€185 million) in the third quarter of the fiscal year.
"As a result of the unknown impact of COVID-19 on the company’s financial results and the uncertainty related to its duration, as well as the impact of the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games, the company is withdrawing its fiscal 2020 outlook," Discovery said.
"The company is not providing an updated fiscal 2020 outlook at this time."
Despite this, Discovery said it fully supports the IOC and Tokyo 2020's plan to stage the Olympics in 2021 and to "make every effort to ensure the well-being of spectators, athletes, staff and the international community".
"Our essential planning and deliverables are complete and will now shift into next year," it adds.
"We will continue to develop our products and offerings to best serve our customers and marketing partners in 2021."
We support the IOC's decision to postpone the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 given the uncertainty surrounding the global coronavirus pandemic. pic.twitter.com/Y8VlVmAse0— Alibaba Group (@AlibabaGroup) March 24, 2020
A number of Worldwide Olympic Partners have come out in support of the decision to postpone Tokyo 2020 until 2021, including Alibaba Group.
"As one of the Worldwide Olympic Partners, Alibaba Group stands firm for the postponement of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020," a statement from the e-commerce company reads.
"Despite the delay, such a decision, made amidst the ongoing global fight against COVID-19, is the epitome of the Olympic spirit of peace, friendship and solidarity.
"We wish health to all and look forward to a better future for the Olympics, as well as each and every one of you."
Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Dow, Intel and Visa have also expressed their backing.
"We believe this is the right decision to protect public health and the well-being of global athletes, who have sacrificed so much to chase their dreams," Bridgestone said.
"Our commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Movements does not change with this announcement and we look forward to helping these Games unite the world in a celebration of sport and the human spirit after this difficult time.
"We will continue working collaboratively with the IOC, IPC (International Paralympic Committee), Games organisers and our various partners to determine the best path forward and adjust our plans accordingly as more details around the new countdown to Tokyo 2020 become available."
Coca-Cola stated: "We know this decision was made in the best interest of the health, safety and security of all.
"As the longest-standing sponsor of the Olympic Games, we remain committed to working together with the IOC and TOCOG (Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) to create a successful and safe event."