On Friday night in Beijing — Friday morning in the United States — China will host an opening ceremony that will be much shorter than usual but sure to include the bombastic national pride and edge-pushing visuals typically expected of the Olympics’ kickoff event.
With Beijing 13 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone in the United States, prime-time events in China will take place early in the American morning. Here’s how to follow along.
What time is the opening ceremony?
It will begin at 7 a.m. Eastern on Friday (8 p.m. in Beijing).
How can I watch the opening ceremony in the United States?
It will be carried live on NBC, with coverage beginning at 6:30 a.m. Eastern. NBC will rebroadcast the ceremony from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern on Friday, with a focus on American athletes.
Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, will also carry the event live. The service offers a free plan with ads.
How long will the ceremony last?
It is expected to run for less than an hour and a half, a relative breeze compared with past ceremonies that have lasted up to four hours. The director, Zhang Yimou, told Xinhua, a Chinese state news agency, that it was being shortened because of the pandemic and cold weather.
What do we know about the show?
It will be held at Beijing’s National Stadium, which also hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Mr. Zhang said there would be about 3,000 performers, down from 15,000 at the 2008 Games. Mr. Zhang also directed the 2008 opening ceremony, which was a lavish tribute to China in an effort to stir national pride.
Will there be fans in the stadium?
Just as last year in Tokyo, where fans were barred from the stadium for the opening ceremony, this year’s events are likely to play out before a nearly empty stadium. Beijing said in January that it would not sell tickets to the general public, but some fans screened by organizers could be allowed to attend.