Maria Taylor to host Paris Olympics late-night coverage (2024)

Picture yourself in a boat on a river.

Well, Maria Taylor will not have to picture it — she’ll be living it next month. NBCUniversal plans to have Taylor reporting live from Team USA’s boat as it makes its way down the River Seine during NBC and Peaco*ck’s coverage of the Paris Opening Ceremony on July 26.


The ceremony, running along the River Seine, will feature 100 boats carrying thousands of athletes from more than 200 countries traveling past spectators seated on the banks of the famed Paris body of water. The four-mile boat parade will conclude at the Eiffel Tower.

But that’s just one part of Taylor’s Olympic assignment which will be announced later Tuesday. Her main role will be serving as the late-night host for the Paris Olympics on NBC and Peaco*ck during the Games, which runs from July 26 to August 11.

“When highlight reels come up of the Paris Olympics, we are always going to remember that the athletes came into Paris on the Seine River,” Taylor said in an interview this week. “It’s going to be a legendary moment. I remember I was at a Football Night In America meeting a couple of months ago and (NBC executive producer and president) Molly Solomon said she wanted to talk about something.

“She was like we still have to clear some things and don’t get too excited yet but I think we are going to get you on the Team USA boat for the opening ceremony. So I knew for three months that maybe it was going to happen and then when it became official I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is going to be something I could have never imagined or dreamed of doing.'”

As for her late-night hosting assignment, Taylor said she would appear at different venues throughout Paris during the competition to make the city a central character of the late-night time slot. The show will begin following local news in all time zones. Mike Tirico will return as the host of NBC’s primetime coverage.

NBC announced last monthRebecca Lowe, Craig Melvin and Tirico were among NBC Olympics daytime hosts for the Paris Games.

Said Taylor on her late-night assignment: “A lot of stuff will already have happened so we’re trying to bring you things in a way that’s fun and entertaining including bringing on notable guests.”


Since leaving ESPN in July 2021 in a well-documented exit, Taylor has hosted “Football Night in America” and the pregame show for NBC Sports’ Big Ten Saturday Night college football series. She will be at the French Open this weekend for NBC. Paris will be Taylor’s third Olympics for the network.

Last December she welcomed her first childRoman Ryan Taylor Hemphill — who will travel with her to the Games.

“When my departure from ESPN happened, I was depleted, exhausted, in a lot of ways torn down,” Taylor said. “I feel like the Olympics have restored me. Being in Tokyo and being a part of the opening ceremony there, it just revitalized my passion (for) working in sports broadcasting. I feel like I owe a lot to the athletes and the Olympics in general because of what that event now means to me and what it represents. It breathed a lot of life back into me.

“When I started in broadcasting, my goal was to be at the women’s volleyball national championships and maybe host the women’s basketball tournament. Now you’re telling me that I get to host an Olympics where Mike Tirico and Bob Costas have stood in and talked about these things. You could tell me that I was going to do this under a rock at 2 a.m. and I’d be like, ‘I’m hosting the Olympics!’ I didn’t know how much it would mean to me three years ago and now I even get to bring my baby to cover the Games.”

Required reading

  • Rebecca Lowe, Mike Tirico, Craig Melvin among NBC Olympics daytime hosts for Paris Games

(Photo: Mark Konezny / USA Today)

Maria Taylor to host Paris Olympics late-night coverage (1)Maria Taylor to host Paris Olympics late-night coverage (2)

Richard Deitsch is a media reporter for The Athletic. He previously worked for 20 years for Sports Illustrated, where he covered seven Olympic Games, multiple NCAA championships and U.S. Open tennis. Richard also hosts a weekly sports media podcast. Follow Richard on Twitter @richarddeitsch

Maria Taylor to host Paris Olympics late-night coverage (2024)


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