In 2018, NBC’s Mike Tirico (seen above in 2017) skipped the Super Bowl to fly to Pyeongchang, South Korea, and prepare for the Winter Olympics. This year, these Olympics (in Beijing, China) begin a week before the Super Bowl, and that has led to many notable moves. One of them is NBC’s announcement Thursday which Tirico will be hosting on location in China for most of the first week, but will then fly to Los Angeles and host remote Olympic coverage before hosting the Super Bowl:
In an unprecedented double, Mike Tirico will host the NBC Olympics primetime show in Beijing (beginning Thursday, Feb. 3) and Los Angeles, while also hosting the Super Bowl LVI pre-game show. from SoFi Stadium on Sunday, February 13, as NBCUniversal presents the two global events over an 18-day period next month.
Tirico will anchor the Olympic prime-time broadcast in Beijing from Thursday February 3 to Thursday February 10 before flying 6,200 miles to Los Angeles, where he will continue his Olympic welcome the following night – Friday February 11 – at from a special set outside SoFi Stadium, which will host Super Bowl LVI. He will again host the Olympic prime-time show on Saturday night, before hosting the five-hour Super Bowl LVI pre-game show on Sunday, February 13. Immediately following Super Bowl coverage, it will return to the lake to host Sunday night’s Olympic competition. . Further details will be available in the coming weeks.
“There’s no one better than Mike Tirico to navigate this unique confluence – a global gathering of elite Olympians from 15 sports in the world’s biggest media event and the NFL champion’s crowning game in our country’s ultimate one-day sports and media spectacle,” said Molly Solomon, Executive Producer and President, NBC Olympics Production. “Mike’s knowledge, preparation and ability to converse about anything from figure skating to football is second to none. We’re counting down until it all starts next month.
“It’s a career highlight to host the biggest sports broadcast day any media company has ever undertaken,” Tirico said. “The basis of our Olympic and NFL productions are the amazing people behind the camera. It is their planning and excellence that makes this possible. I’ve never been so excited for a work project and to quote the great Ernie Banks, ‘let’s play 2!’”
As this release notes, this will be the third Olympics and fourth Super Bowl that Tirico has hosted. But it’s interesting that he’s taking part in both of these events this year, as 2018 saw him do lengthy interviews about preparing for the Olympics, which led to him deciding not to compete in the Super Bowl this year. that year (even if it takes place a few days in advance). of the start of the Olympics):
“Of course, I would have loved to do both, but logistically, it’s so unrealistic. If I leave Minneapolis on Sunday night after the Super Bowl, I’m not at the IBC (center of international broadcast) until Tuesday midday in South Korea, and Thursday is the first primetime show. If you have a bad weather day, what are you going to do?
Of course, much of the world has changed since 2018. And even then there were talks of Bob Costas hosting the Super Bowl instead of Tirico (which ultimately didn’t happen). And it’s worth noting that NBC really doesn’t currently appear to have a significant potential Super Bowl host other than Tirico, with the likes of Costas, Liam McHugh and Dan Patrick all leaving since 2018. So there’s certainly some logic to them. to have Tirico host both the Olympics and the Super Bowl, especially since there is no obvious replacement for him.
In some ways, however, it’s a fun additional reflection of the current shift to remote studio broadcasts. This trend started before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pandemic has certainly exacerbated it. And that’s an interesting point here; there’s no real reason why NBC’s February 11-12 Olympics coverage couldn’t come from Beijing, other than the fact that Tirico isn’t there. And sure, there might not be a noticeable difference between hosting from an offsite location in Beijing and hosting from an offsite location in China, but it’s definitely a little further than that that we usually saw. And we’ll see how it’s received, and we’ll see what that means for NBC’s broadcast plans for week two of the Games.