CBC announces Tokyo Olympics plans, Toronto origination

CBC’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics coverage is set to broadcast from the network’s downtown Toronto headquarters with over 3,375 hours of coverage.

“We have moved a lot of people home to Canada across CBC, Radio-Canada and all platforms,” said Chris Irwin, EP for CBC Olympics.

Operating with a 50 percent reduction in staffing in Tokyo, over typical summer games, the network’s remote team will focus on athlete stories and interviews.

An early look at the CBC Olympics studio design. Courtesy of CBC Olympics.

“The only people we left on site are those gathering with athletes, talking to athletes — camera people, reporters, field producers and the co-ordinating and technical teams at the IBC [International Broadcast Centre] that make sure all the content gets to Canada.”

All in, the network’s Canadian base will broadcast 23 hours a day of live programming ranging from “Olympic Games Primetime” with veteran host Scott Russell to “Tokyo Today” with CBC news anchor Andrew Chang.

“We knew there would be uncertainty until the last moment and it turned out to be an excellent decision,” said Chris Wilson, the executive director, in a CBC.ca interview. “It gives some certainty to our planning, staff, employees and allowed us some level of cost certainty, although there are lots of things to be determined.”

  • “Olympic Games Primetime” will be hosted by Scott Russell from 7 pm to midnight ET.
  • “Olympic Games Overnight” will be hosted by CBC News Anchor Heather Hiscox with Canada’s most decorated male diver, two-time Olympic Games silver medallist and three-time World Champion Alexandre Despatie. 
  • “Olympic Games Morning” will be hosted by Andi Petrillo and include “in case you missed it” recaps and interviews.
  • “Tokyo Today” will feature “The National’s” Andrew Chang with two-time Olympian and World Champion hurdler Perdita Felicien to recap major storylines, news alerts and athlete profiles.