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NBC Hopes Paris Olympics Make Peacock Fans Hungry for New Ads That Order Snacks, Drinks

NBCUniversal hopes to create a new type of event when its coverage of the Paris Olympics kicks off in late July. You don’t have to be an athlete to participate.

When viewers of the company’s Peacock streaming hub open Olympics coverage, NBC is likely to ask some of them if they’d like to order food or beverages. Maybe someone wants to enjoy a pizza while watching soccer. Depending on which advertisers express interest in the technology, says Josh Feldman global chief marketing officer for NBCUniversal’s advertising and partnerships division, NBC hopes to team up with a national restaurant chain that delivers or with various delivery services that can bring drinks and snacks to homes.

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Viewers may see custom segments making the offer during soccer games and ahead of certain movies, says Feldman, or even hear announcer’s prompting them to click to find ways to order.

“We have research that shows two out of three people who are on Peacock streaming are ordering food or beverages during live sports and movie programs,” he says. “We know we have a super engaged audience at this point” and baking the delivery offers into the programming will minimize the disruption of having to stop watching TV and order something on one’s own.

The prospect of streaming big sports events is still in its relative infancy. But as NBCU, Disney’s ESPN, Warner Bros. Discovery and others take new digital swings at distributing sports, they are also working to develop business opportunities around them. The Paris Olympics is likely to bring with it some of the biggest attempts to recapture revenue, as is a streaming joint venture set to debut from Disney, Warner and Fox that will make all of the companies’ sports content available via a single platform.

There is reason for hope. Amazon entered the ad market aggressively before launching its own full broadcast of “Thursday Night Football,” and while buyers initially balked at some of its demands, it’s clear the company’s sports presence is growing. Amazon unveiled a new “Black Friday” NFL game this past season.

NBCU’s Olympics plans include making ad inventory tied to the event available to advertisers programmatically for the first time, and the company has struck a deal with The Trade Desk to facilitate such purchases. NBC has also expanded the range of vendors it’s using to measure Olympics audiences across screens.

The Peacock presentation of the athletic extravaganza will introduce new ways of watching sports. The streaming hub will offer more than 5,000 hours of live coverage, including 329 medal events.

Fans will have the opportunity to cut a choose-your-own-adventure style path through the spectacle. In many instances, they will be able to choose between the live feed of a specific  event and so-called “whip-around” coverage of the day’s  competitions provided in a style similar to NFL RedZone. They will be able to search via sport or even athlete. Viewers can add upcoming events to a calendar list. And they will be able to examine Peacock offerings via  “four-view” experience that lets them monitor four different events at games at once while being able to switch audio or click on one of the screens for single-window action.

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