Over the weekend we learned that NBC will not stream the opening ceremonies live yet again.
The decision brings back memories of the London Summer Olympics of 2012, when the twitter-verse was in turmoil because U.S. audiences were unable to watch the opening ceremonies live. Instead, the public was treated to a primetime tape delayed coverage riddled with offensive and ignorant comments by NBC's Matt Lauer, Bob Costas and Meredith Vieyra during the primetime retransmission.
The opening ceremonies for the London Summer Olympics in 2012, was majestic. There was so much history and significance behind the BBC’s interpretation of the opening ceremonies that NBC failed to properly interpret this for its U.S. viewers.
Viewers immediately went to social media to vent their frustration and disgust at the network. A UK journalist was even banned from Twitter after a series of tweets that were not favorable to NBC. When it was revealed that Twitter and NBC were in a commercial relationship, the journalist’s twitter account was miraculously reinstated.
Important segments of the Opening Ceremonies were cut by NBC’s retransmission. One of these was the memorial that paid tribute to the 52 victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London, which occurred one day after the announcement that the city was to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.
To make matters worse, the parade of nations was butchered beyond recognition. During the segment, NBC hosts made tasteless jokes and comments on leaders, athletes and other individuals from other countries.
Two years later, U.S. viewers of the 2012 Summer Olympics' opening ceremony have yet to hear an apology from the network or its hosts.
In an interview with Variety, NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus explained that the reason for the tape delay was because “We want to put context to it, with the full pageantry it deserves.”
Let’s just hope NBC commentators do their homework this year and keep it classy.
It is no secret that the real motives behind the decision not to stream the opening ceremonies live is because of advertising. Primetime is the peak hours in which audiences tune in to watch television, generally considered between 7pm to 11pm. The more viewers watch a show, the higher the advertising fees sponsors must pay for a commercial spot.
Advertisers want to make sure Americans watch their commercials and NBC will make sure viewers see them.