Due to concerns over COVID-19 and other COVID-related restrictions, ESPN will not be sending any press personnel to the Winter Olympics in China and will instead focus on remote Games coverage with a robust plan that will be rolled out ahead of the start of competition next month.
“The safety of our employees is of the utmost importance to us,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president, event and studio production and editor. “With the pandemic continuing to be a global threat and with the COVID-related on-site restrictions in place for the Olympics which would make coverage very difficult, we felt that keeping our people at home was the best decision for us. .”
ESPN had planned to send four reporters to China, after five employees traveled to last year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but those reporters will now join a larger group dedicated to remote Games coverage. As was the case with the Summer Olympics, organizers have taken steps to make online news and interviews available to media covering the Games remotely. ESPN has several reporters assigned to do this for television and digital news platforms.
Just like the Summer Olympics, ESPN.com has a special section dedicated to Olympics coverage. There are plans for several dedicated Olympics features that will continue to roll out before and on competition days. ESPN.com and the ESPN app will also have scoreboards, medal counts and other stats constantly updated in real time.
In addition, sports center will report results and present Olympic information and features while adhering to video usage restrictions. As NBCUniversal is the US rights holder for the Olympics, ESPN will operate, as it has for previous Olympics, under video usage restrictions like all other non-NBCU US media.