COVID concerns will keep NBC announcers home from the Beijing Olympics

Team member rehearse a triumph event at the Beijing Medals Plaza last week. The venue will host some medal events at the upcoming winter season Olympics.

Ng Han Guan/AP

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Ng Han Guan/AP

Staff members rehearse a victory event at the Beijing Medals Plaza last week. The location will host some medal events at the upcoming winter Olympics.

Ng Han Guan/AP

The Olympic logo is seen on a hillside at Zhangjiakou Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou in northern Chinas Hebei Province, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. The venue will host the freestyle snowboarding and snowboard competitors at the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

“The announce groups for these Olympics, including figure skating, will be calling occasions from our Stamford (Connecticut) center due to COVID issues,” an NBC Sports spokesperson said in an email to NPR. “Our plans are progressing by the day as they are for a lot of media business covering the Olympics,” the spokesperson said.

As first reported by USA Today, NBC Sports set up relaying teams to announce from Beijing covering figure skating, Alpine skiing and snowboarding. As of Wednesday, those strategies have been canceled. NBCs Olympic lead prime-time television host Mike Tirico will still be traveling to Beijing to cover the first few days of the games prior to taking a trip to Los Angeles to cover Super Bowl LVI, USA Today reported.

Mark Schiefelbein/AP

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Mark Schiefelbein/AP

The Olympic logo design is seen on a hillside at Zhangjiakou Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou in northern Chinas Hebei Province, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. The location will host the freestyle skiing and snowboard competitions at the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Mark Schiefelbein/AP

“The reveal teams for these Olympics, consisting of figure skating, will be calling events from our Stamford (Connecticut) facility due to COVID issues,” an NBC Sports spokesperson said in an email to NPR. “Our plans are progressing by the day as they are for most media companies covering the Olympics,” the spokesperson stated.

As initially reported by USA Today, NBC Sports arranged broadcasting teams to announce from Beijing covering figure skating, Alpine skiing and snowboarding. NBCs Olympic lead prime time host Mike Tirico will still be taking a trip to Beijing to cover the very first few days of the video games before traveling to Los Angeles to cover Super Bowl LVI, USA Today reported.

The winter Olympics will take place from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20, and the winter Paralympic Games are arranged for March 4th through the 13th.

“Well have more personnel there than in the host city,” Molly Solomon, president of NBC Olympics Production, told USA Today.

Previously today, the International Olympic Committee stated no tickets will be sold for both the winter season Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing due to the “severe and complex circumstance of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Instead, organizers revealed today that they would invite groups of viewers to attend the games face to face. “The organisers anticipate that these spectators will strictly follow the COVID-19 countermeasures previously, during and after each event as pre-conditions for the secure shipment of the Games,” the Beijing 2022 arranging committee said in a statement. The International Olympic Committee formerly stated they only would sell tickets to spectators residing in mainland China who satisfied certain COVID-19 security procedures. The winter season Olympics will occur from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20, and the winter Paralympic Games are scheduled for March 4th through the 13th.

Officials with NBC Sports told USA Today the networks strategy to cover the Olympics from its Stamford facility was a comparable strategy utilized to cover the delayed 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics last year.

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