The real reason Tokyo chooses to host prime-time Olympic swimming finals in the morning

The real reason Tokyo chooses to host prime-time Olympic swim finals in the morning – while a record number of incarcerated Aussies watch from their couch

All the highly anticipated swim finals of the Tokyo Olympics have aired in the morning – and that’s because of the time difference for the US one.

Usually the heats are held in the morning and the finals come later in the evening, but this year the schedule has been reversed.

While there is little time difference between Japan and Australia, this would mean that if the finals are shown at night, those living in the United States would have to get up in the early morning hours to watch them.

So instead, the Tokyo Games organizers have changed the schedule for US networks like NBC, which have spent millions of dollars broadcasting the event.

NBC paid more than the equivalent of $10 billion in 2014 to buy the rights to broadcast the event through the 2032 Games.

All of the highly anticipated swim finals of the Tokyo Olympics have aired this morning – and that’s because of the time difference to the US one (pictured is the Australian relay team after winning bronze in the 4x200m freestyle final)

Usually the preliminaries are held in the morning and the finals come later in the evening, but this year the schedule has been reversed to accommodate the US networks that spend billions of dollars to broadcast the Games (pictured Australian swimmers Emily Seebohm and Kaylee McKeown)

Usually the preliminaries are held in the morning and the finals come later in the evening, but this year the schedule has been reversed to accommodate the US networks that spend billions of dollars to broadcast the Games (pictured Australian swimmers Emily Seebohm and Kaylee McKeown)

This means that while Aussies will be watching in the middle of their workdays, Americans will be watching the finals unfold in prime time.

A similar reversal of the timetables was seen for the US in Beijing when Michael Phelps won a whopping eight gold medals.

But despite the confusing times, a record number of incarcerated Aussies tune in to strict stay-at-home orders for four weeks from their living rooms with all of Greater Sydney.

More than a million viewers tuned in to Monday’s morning session of the Games, and that number doubled in the evening.

Channel Seven’s coverage has improved the viewership who tuned in to the Rio Games in 2016.

More than two million Aussies turned on the Games for Day’s afternoon events, while 1.5 million viewers living in the nation’s capitals tuned in for the evening session.

Channel Seven's coverage improved the viewership who tuned in to the Rio Games in 2016

Channel Seven’s coverage improved the viewership who tuned in to the Rio Games in 2016

The same evening session broadcast before the Rio Games drew 1.2 million viewers from metro cities.

More Aussies also tuned in for the opening ceremony with an average audience of 2.1 million spectators from mainland Australia’s metropolitan areas, while the ceremony from Rio – which aired Monday morning – had just 1.61 million spectators.

The Seven Network also broke a record for the biggest day of live streaming in Australian television history.

On Day 1, a staggering 238 million minutes were streamed on 7plus, breaking the previous record of 86 million for this year’s State of Origin third round.

The match between the Matildas and New Zealand attracted a whopping 860,000 viewers from across Australia.

Australian swimmers Meg Harris and Bronte Campbell can be seen on Day 2 of the Olympics

Australian swimmers Meg Harris and Bronte Campbell can be seen on Day 2 of the Olympics

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