Tokyo 2020: Olympics Opening Ceremony Livestream, How to Watch on TV and Online

A year later than originally planned, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will officially open on Friday.

The Tokyo Olympic Stadium will host the opening ceremony behind closed doors and the stands will remain empty across every Olympic venue for the duration of the Games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The opening ceremony will be broadcast live in the U.S. by NBC, but be prepared to get up early or take the morning off work, as proceedings kick off at 7 a.m. ET.

Here's all you need to know to keep up with the action.

When Do the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Start?

The 2020 Olympic Games will officially begin on Friday, July 23 with the opening ceremony schedule to begin at 8 p.m. local time in Tokyo (7 a.m. ET, 4 a.m. PT). While the ceremony will mark the official opening of the game, competitions began on July 21 with the women's soccer tournament and continued on July 22 when the men's soccer got underway.

On July 23, preliminaries for the rowing and archery competitions are scheduled to begin before the opening ceremony.

Where is the Opening Ceremony?

The opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympics will be hosted by the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. The venue was specifically built for the Games and replaced the old National Stadium, which hosted the 1964 Olympics. The 68,000-capacity venue will host both the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as athletics and some rugby and soccer matches.

How to Watch the Opening Ceremony on TV and Online

NBC will air the opening ceremony live from 6:55 a.m. ET on July 23, with a live stream available via the NBC Sports app and NBCOlympics.com. The ceremony will also be via available streaming services such as fuboTV, Hulu Plus Live TV and YouTube TV, which all carry the NBC family of networks.

NBC will air a replay of the ceremony at 7:30 p.m. ET.

How Long Will the Opening Ceremony Be?

As ever, the exact duration remains anyone's guess. Based on previous Olympics, however, the best estimate is that the opening ceremony on Friday will last approximately four hours.

Will Fans Be Allowed to Attend the Opening Ceremony?

Unfortunately not. Fans have been barred to attend the opening ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic and the same measures apply to every Olympic event. At a time when a large number of U.S. ballparks and arenas are again full to capacity and over 60,000 fans attended both semifinals and the final of Euro 2020 in London, the desolately empty stands of Tokyo Olympic Stadium will make for a very eerie sight.

Last week, the IOC and Tokyo organizers revealed only 950 people will be allowed to attend the ceremony. They will mostly consist of executives from the IOC and the organizing committee and high-profile politicians.

Tokyo Olympic Stadium
A general view of the National Stadium, the venue for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games athletics and para-athletics events on May 11. Behrouz Mehri/AFP

What Will the Opening Ceremony Include?

Precise details of the opening ceremony have not been disclosed, but it will feature the usual staples as per Olympic charter. Those consist of the entry of the host nation's head of state—Japanese Emperor Naruhito in Tokyo 2020's case—the playing of the host country's national anthem, the parade of athletes and the symbolic release of doves, before Emperor Naruhito will declare the Games officially open.

As is tradition, the Greek Olympic Team will enter the stadium first—a nod to the country where the Olympic Games began in their modern guise in 1896—during the parade of nations, with the Japanese Olympic Team entering last.

Team USA will enter as third-last, which reflects the U.S. status as a future Olympic host with the Games returning to Los Angeles in 2028. Team USA will be followed by France—Paris will host the 2024 Games—before Japan makes its entrance.

As ever, after Greece teams will enter the stadium in alphabetical order, which this year is based on the names of the nations in Japanese.

Tokyo Olympic Stadium
Tokyo Olympic Stadium is pictured from Shibuya Sky Deck on July 22 in Tokyo, Japan. The Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony is scheduled for July 23. Carl Court/Getty Images