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Delayed Olympics to be most profitable ever for NBCU, claims CEO

The upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games are set to be the most profitable in history for NBCUniversal, the Comcast-owned broadcaster’s CEO has said.

Speaking at the Credit Suisse 23rd Annual Communications Conference, NBCU chief exec Jeff Shell said that the company is “pretty optimistic about both the ratings and the economics of the Olympics and advertisers have embraced it.”

Before the games were delayed in 2020, NBCU announced that it had sold a record US$1.25 billion in advertising against the games but is yet to provide an updated figure.

The broadcaster has announced that it will air more than 7,000 hours of coverage across TV and the Peacock streaming service. NBCU had initially designed the launch of Peacock around the Olympics, but has still managed to reach 42 members in the US since launching in July 2020.

With the start date looming, the Japanese organising committee is under increasing scrutiny over the Games’ staging. Numerous surveys in the country have said that the majority of Japanese people oppose the event being staged in light of the country’s current Covid-19 situation and host city Tokyo’s ongoing state of emergency. 

Despite this, members of the International Olympic Committee have arrived in Japan to oversee final preparations ahead of the start on July 23.