NBC Sports is pulling back its Beijing Olympics broadcasting teams due to concerns over COVID-19, according to Christine Brennan of USA Today.
NBC Sports’ senior vice president of communications Greg Hughes confirmed the news Wednesday, telling USA Today broadcasters will announce the games at a facility in Connecticut.
“The announce teams for these Olympics, including figure skating, will be calling events from our Stamford (Conn.) facility due to COVID concerns.”
“We’ll still have a large presence on the ground in Beijing and our coverage of everything will be first rate as usual, but our plans are evolving by the day as they are for most media companies covering the Olympics.”
NBC Sports was slated to send broadcast teams to Beijing to cover figure skating, Alpine skiing and snowboarding. The network planned to have the rest of its broadcast teams cover events from Stamford. The company utilized a similar strategy during the Tokyo Olympics. Broadcasting teams for the most popular sports were sent to the event. Other broadcasting teams called events from the United States.
NBC Sports made the move due to the presence of the Omicron variant. Beijing recorded its first Omicron case Saturday. COVID-19 cases have also risen in the United States due to the variant.
Athletes and media members traveling to Beijing for the Olympics could face weeks of quarantine if they test positive for the virus.