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Olympics will ban spectators after Japan declares a state of emergency

Olympics will ban spectators after Japan declares a state of emergency

July 12, 2021: -Olympics organizers will ban all the spectators from the games this year after Japan declared a state of emergency that’s meant to curb a wave of new Covid-19 infections.

On Monday, the latest setback for the Summer Olympics has already been delayed for a year and racked up high costs for postponement. The state of emergency will begin and run through Aug. 22, while the games are scheduled from July 23 to Aug. 8.

Organizers had banned international spectators from attending already and set a cap on domestic crowds at 50% of capacity, or nearly 10,000 people.

There’s immense pressure to curb the spread of the virus at the games, protecting both athletes and neighboring regions. Above 11,000 competitors are expected to travel to Japan to compete, and thousands of officials and staff are also set to attend.

Nationwide, Japan has reported about 811,000 Covid-19 cases and more than 14,800 deaths, according to data from the World Health Organization.

According to Reuters, however, the nation has faced a slow rollout of vaccines. Only about a quarter of the population has had at least one COVID-19 shot.

NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC, is planning to show more than 7,000 hours of content from the Tokyo Olympics across its networks and streaming platforms. Now NBC will have to grapple with if the viewers notice the difference without spectators.

Sports properties worldwide adjusted in the pandemic with no fans and often used digital seats to display some form of attendance. U.S. pro leagues, which include the National Football League and Major League Baseball, incorporated artificial sound in broadcasts to mimic crowd noise.

It’s challenging to keep viewers engaged in sports broadcasts without spectators, so NBC could use the technology to enhance production. The media giant and the International Olympic Committee is agreeing to a $7.75 billion media rights deal to extend the partnership in 2014. The current agreement runs through 2032.

Still, an Olympics without fans that destroy ticket revenue for the IOC. According to an IOC annual report, more than 6 million tickets were sold for the 2016 Rio Games, bringing in $1.2 billion roughly.

Due to the delays, the games’ budget has jumped to an estimated $15.4 billion, according to Reuters, and ticket revenue of about $815 million will fall to near zero.

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