NBC to attach heart rate monitors to athletes’ parents during 2024 Olympics — possibly with onscreen sponsors

News & Politics

NBCUniversal is making big changes to its 2024 Summer Olympics coverage from Paris, France. In addition to reeling in network stars, the broadcaster will have parents of Olympic athletes wearing heart rate monitors to gauge their stress levels.

With a gigantic investment into Olympic coverage, the media giant is admittedly looking to broaden its audience beyond a typical demographic for the summer games in Paris.

NBC Sports President Rick Cordella even stated that the network would be using the kind of celebrity that “wouldn’t have been part of” its coverage of the past.

“We’ve got to be innovating, trying things differently, trying to match where the media world is in 2024,” he told Variety.

Part of that innovation reportedly involves hooking up some excited parents to medical equipment. Five heart rate monitors affixed to the parents of Olympic athletes will be used at any given time, with data shown onscreen as their child competes. The network claimed that test audiences loved the idea.

The possibility of getting sponsors for the medical data has also been discussed at the network.

“We are talking about it,” said NBC ad-sales executive Dan Lovinger.

It was not made clear whether the heart rate monitors would be placed on only American athletes’ parents nor were the specific sports they would be used in revealed.

NBCU will use celebrity correspondents

Molly Solomon, an executive producer at NBC, said that it was important for the network to have “some new voices and some fan voices.”

While sports need to be the primary focus, there’s nothing wrong with “a couple of short bursts of energy,” she added.

Some of those new voices will be very familiar, as NBCU has acquired the services of rapper Snoop Dogg, singer Kelly Clarkson, host Jimmy Fallon, and former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.

Snoop Dogg will reportedly deliver man-on-the-street observations with his off-the-cuff reactions and reportedly said he “wants to be the biggest kid at the Olym­pics, to be silly, [and] to be sincere.”

According to Solomon, Snoop wants to “celebrate love and respect.”

Manning and Clarkson will cohost the opening ceremony with legendary sports broadcaster Mike Tirico.

“I love finding out how people overcome their circumstances, how they get to where they are, especially at this level,” Clarkson commented.

Tirico will later be joined by Fallon for the closing ceremony at the culmination of the games.

On streaming service Peacock NBCU hopes to capitalize on its younger audience by employing Alex Cooper, host of one of the most popular female-centric podcasts of all time, “Call Her Daddy.”

Cooper will host a series of live, interactive watch parties.

NBCU purchased the rights to the Olympic coverage through 2032 for a reported $7.8 billion. At the same time, the network has raked in about $1.2 billion in ad revenue commitments already.

The opening ceremonies for the 2024 Summer Olympics will take place on July 26, 2024, and will air through August 11, 2024.

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