NBCUniversal plans 7000 hours of Olympic programming, UEFA signs 5-year blockchain partnership with AntChain, Apple introduces Shareplay as a way to watch sport together on FaceTime, Schalke 04 contemplates the sale of League of Legends franchise slot, Japan requires international athletes and media to download GPS tracking app for use in retroactive contact tracing. For these stories and more, check out the Red Phoenix Global Sports Update:

NBCUniversal Promotes Tokyo Olympics Coverage as “Biggest Media Event Ever”

With 7000 hours of programming planned, NBCUniversal has declared their coverage of the 2020 Olympics to be the “biggest media event ever.” The 17-day event will begin on Tuesday, July 20rd, kicking off with six hours of live softball coverage on NBCSN. This marks the return of softball to the Olympic lineup for the first time in 13 years, and on prominent display will be the gold-medal favorite U.S. team against Italy. On Friday, July 23rd, things will kick into full gear with NBC’s first-ever live morning broadcast of an Opening Ceremony followed by a full day of Olympic content. Full Story NBCSports (6/7)

UEFA Inks a Deal With AntChain as Their Global Blockchain Partner

Just ahead of the 2020 UEFA European Championships, UEFA has signed a 5-year partnership with AntChain, the blockchain business ofAnt Group. AntChain will now be the official global blockchain partner of UEFA Euro 2020 and UEFA national team football and be deployed to store top scorer records, not just for UEFA Euro 2020 but also for youth football in AntChain’s native China via Alipay’s Campus Top Scorer Incentive Programme. In keeping with the partnership,Alipay’s distinctive trophy will be awarded to the top scorer at UEFA Euro 2020, with the winner’s scoring records being uploaded to blockchain for permanent storage for the first time. Full Story InsiderSport (6/11)

Apple Introduces SharePlay: A New Watch Together Sports Option on Facetime

(Photo Credit: Apple)

Apple is expanding the functionality of FaceTime by adding a new feature called SharePlay that will allow users to watch live sports together. Coming as part of an IOS 15 update in Q3, SharePlay will be available to work in conjunction with the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) over-the-top (OTT) platform, Twitch, TikTok, as well as subscription streaming services such as ESPN+, CBS’s Paramount+, Hulu, Pluto TV, and HBO Max. SharePlay will also be compatible with non-Apple devices via a browser link. Apple’s move follows a trend that began during the pandemic, with several broadcasters and rights holders introducing “watch together” options onto their digital platforms. Full Story SportsPro (6/8)

Relegated Bundesliga Team Schalke 04 in Talks to Sell Esports Slot

(Photo Credit: S04 Esports)

According to The Esports Observer, German soccer team Schalke 04, relegated from the Bundesliga last season, are in talks to sell their League of Legends European Championship (LEC) franchise slot. Schalke has been contemplating the sale of their LEC slot since February because of the team’s debt running more than €200 million (US$243 million). Schalke is seeking to sell their LEC license for €30 million (US$36.5 million). Any deal would require approval from League of Legends developer Riot Games. Full Story EsportsObserver (6/8)

Mandatory GPS App Will Keep Track of Athletes and Media Movements at Olympics

Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee CEO Toshiro Muto speaks at a news conference after IOC Executive Board meeting in Tokyo, Japan (Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool)

To assist in contract tracing, international athletes and members of the media covering the Olympics will be required to download a GPS-tracking mobile app and submit activity plans before arriving in Japan. GPS tracking will not be used to detect the movement of Olympians and media in real-time, but only for retroactive tracing purposes. The roughly 6,000 foreign journalists planning to cover the Games must submit a list of areas, venues, and hotels they plan to visit within their first 14 days upon arriving in Japan. Full Story SportTechie (6/11)

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