Mike Tirico will have an unusual new partner for NBCUniversal’s looming coverage of the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Rapper and actor Snoop Dogg will be on hand during the event to provide regular reports for NBC”s primetime Olympics program, starting July 26 of next year on both the broadcast network and the Peacock streaming hub. Snoop Dogg is slated to offer his unique take on what’s happening at the athletic extravaganza and will be seen exploring landmarks as well as holding forth with various competitors.
“I grew up watching the Olympics and am thrilled to see the incredible athletes bring their A-game to Paris. It’s a celebration of skill, dedication, and the pursuit of greatness,” said Snoop Dogg, in a statement. “We’re going to have some amazing competitions and, of course, I will be bringing that Snoop style to the mix. It’s going to be the most epic Olympics ever, so stay tuned, and keep it locked.”
The artist behind such hits as “Gin and Juice” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot” might not seem like the most immediate fit with traditional sports programming, but NBC is testing new ideas for its primetime coverage. The Comcast-backed entertainment conglomerate has vowed to telecast all Olympics contests live as they happen via Peacock, creating new pressure to differentiate the content it will show to TV audiences at night. In a different era, the network could simply show viewers what happened on the ground, even if they saw it several hours after it happened. Now, there is a mandate to create a new sort of spectacle for sports fans who may already have watched their Olympics favorites live. The company plans to augment primetime shows with athlete profiles and more.
Snoop Dogg,. who teamed up with comic Kevin Hart to provide Olympics commentary on Peacock during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, isn’t the first figure from outside the sporting world to help NBC navigate the competition. Leslie Jones, the one-time “Saturday Night Live” cast member, in 2016 was invited to appear during some of NBC’s coverage of the Rio Olympics after some of her social-media commentary around the event began to go viral.
Snoop Dogg’s past Olympic commentary generated “tens of millions of views,” said Molly Solomon, executive producer and president, NBC Olympics Production, in a statement. “That performance alone has earned Snoop a job as our Special Correspondent in Paris. We don’t know what the heck is going to happen every day, but we know he will add his unique perspective to our re-imagined Olympic primetime show.”
NBC on Sunday showed a promotional video during “Sunday Night Football” that showed Snoop Dogg joking with Team USA athletes Suni Lee, A’ja Wilson, Jagger Eaton and the beach-volleyball duo of Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes about their Olympic dreams.
NBC has reason to break away from Olympics traditions. Comcast has committed to pay $7.75 billion for U.S. broadcast rights for the Olympics between 2021 and 2032. The company is trying to surpass the $1.25 billion in national advertising it sold tied to the Tokyo Olympics, and has indicated it is close to the $1 billion mark. NBCU is believed to have sold around $1.25 billion in national advertising related to its 2021 broadcast of the Olympics Games in Tokyo.
NBC has been promoting the Paris Olympics for months, with executives betting that the Paris locale means NBCU will have fewer time-zones to worry about compared to recent efforts that have sent the company to big cities in Asia.