2032. It sounds like a title card from the opening of a sci-fi movie. Or one of Captain Kirk’s star dates in his log. But that is how long, at minimum, that NBC is going to air the Olympics. NBC Universal just signed a deal with the International Olympic Committee for the U.S. coverage rights to the Games through 2032.
So we will all be 18 years older when NBC’s new contract expires. There probably won’t even be an NBC broadcast network in 2032 — at least, not a linear schedule grid of programming like the one we have today, given the way ratings are falling and how online streaming competition is increasing. Will wingsuit flying be an official competition by then? What about poker? Will we even watch the Olympics on a TV screen, or will we all be watching curling and skating on Google Glass-like appendages? And where are our jetpacks, anyway?
NBCU already had rights to the games through 2020, including the upcoming Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016, and the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in 2018, and the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020. “This is one of the most important days in the history of NBCUniversal,” said Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal. “The Olympics are part of the fabric of our company, and we couldn’t be more excited that today’s announcement guarantees that this massively popular and profitable programming will continue to air every two years on the broadcast, cable, digital and mobile platforms of NBCUniversal for the next two decades.”