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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Olympics schedule serving US viewers makes athletes winners too

NBC wants to broadcast popular Tokyo events for prime-time American audience

Members of the American men's 4x100 medley relay team kiss their gold medals at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro. Swimming finals at the 2020 games will start in the morning, Tokyo time, so that U.S. viewers can watch them live at night.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The 2020 Tokyo Olympics basketball finals will be held at 11:30 a.m., not the optimal time for viewers here. But the schedule designed to satisfy a high-paying American broadcaster could also help athletes by drawing a larger audience.

Tokyo's 11:30 a.m. is 7:30 p.m. on the U.S. West Coast, a prime TV-viewing time in America. The schedule announced Tuesday by the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games also shows swimming finals starting at 10:30 a.m. -- 6:30 p.m. on the West Coast and 9:30 p.m. on the East Coast.

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