This year’s Summer Olympics are the latest victim of the global coronavirus outbreak: The international competition has officially been postponed in light of the pandemic.
The games were set to take place in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9, with NBC handling all broadcast rights via the Peacock network and its sister channels. On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that he reached an agreement with the International Olympic Committee to delay the games for about a year. (UPDATE: The Olympics will now begin on July 23, 2021.)
The IOC’s executive board announced plans on March 22 to “step up its scenario planning” for the Summer Olympics, but emphasized that cancellation was “not on the agenda.” The following day, IOC member Dick Pound told USA Today that “postponement has been decided,” with a move to 2021 the most likely scenario.
The global coronavirus outbreak continues to affect TV shows and events, with more than 142,000 cases now reported in the United States and more than 100 TV shows shutting down production. In the sports world alone, the NBA suspended its current season after All-Star player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, and the NHL followed suit the following day; Major League Baseball pushed back the start of the regular season for at least two weeks and cancelled spring training; and the NCAA cancelled the annual March Madness men’s college basketball tournament, along with all other remaining winter and spring championships.