Roku and NBCUniversal revealed Tuesday that they have partnered to stream the Olympic experience from the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Games on Roku devices in the United States.

Through the arrangement, Roku users will have easy access to Olympics coverage and Olympics-related entertainment on both supported Roku adapters and Roku TV models.

Roku said that for the first time it is creating easy access to NBCU’s 5,500 hours of streaming coverage of the Summer Games directly from the Roku home screen.

“As the No. 1 TV streaming platform by hours streamed (according to Hypothesis Group, April 2021), Roku users will be able to access in-depth coverage of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan via the NBC Sports or Peacock channels on Roku devices starting July 20, 2021, through August 8, 2021,” Roku said.

Also, starting today, streamers have access to special features ahead of the Games across all Roku devices, during the opening ceremony, at the closing ceremony, and everything in-between, Roku said.

The Tokyo Summer Olympics begin Friday, July 23, with the opening ceremony. This year’s games will include 339 medal events across 41 sports.

“As this is Peacock’s first Olympics, we saw a great opportunity to bring the games to life across the Roku platform,” said Maggie McLean Suniewick, NBCUniversal direct-to-consumer business development and partnerships president. “This experience on Roku makes NBC Olympics content unmissable for streamers.”

“The Tokyo Olympics will be one of the biggest media events of our lifetime and we look forward to working with Roku to create a new, on-device experience for their millions of streamers,” stated Matt Bond, NBCUniversal content distribution chairman. “We know that more engaging, personalized experiences are what consumers expect for this global event and we look forward to using this opportunity to innovate with terrific partners like Roku.”

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As for 4K coverage of the event, a Roku representative told HD Guru that “we sadly will not be delivering coverage in 4K/HDR.”

To get coverage in 4K/HDR viewers will need to have a participating cable/satellite/telco TV service or a another streaming device supporting a streaming app with 4K/HDR coverage. NBCU’s Peacock app is not yet delivering content in the high resolution video format, although NBCU is producing coverage of the game for various other channels in 4K/HDR. The network has said primetime coverage as well as coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies will be produced in 4K HDR, and it is being carried by multiple live cable and satellite TV services.

Olympic events will be presented live in 4K/HDR from the Golf Channel and the dedicated Olympic Channel. That will include track & field, gymnastics, swimming, diving, beach volleyball, golf, tennis and other events.

The multi-channel live streaming services FuboTV (in select markets including New York, LA, Chicago, Boston and Dallas) and the YouTube TV will have coverage/channels in 4K/HDR in some areas on some platforms.

Many cable/satellite/telco TV services including Comcast/Xfinity (X1), Optimum, DirecTV, and FiOS, will carry 4K/HDR channels with Olympics coverage.In addition Xfinity X1 devices will by supporting Dolby Vision HDR as well and HDR10 for supporting televisions.

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By Greg Tarr

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