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NBC needs to be pushed to show opening ceremony live!


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I think there is no excuse that NBC can't show the Opening Ceremony live. I understand if the Olympics are in a time zone that is over 8 to 10 hours ahead of east coast but London is only about five hours ahead. What if there is some technical delay during the show that causes the ceremony to end later then anticipated? Then NBC would face a major dilemma(edit the show down to and hour or soo and disappoint many fans?). NBC makes the excuse"We want people to be able watch their soap operas and talk show"s". Show the ceremony on one of the cable affiliates(MSNBC, NBC Sports Network) live and re- air it on NBC later. Someday needs to pressure them!!

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I wanted to start a petition but the argument works both ways. we are complaining because the rest of the world will see it and we will be last to know, that important since we are junkies about this but the average viewer who wants to see it, who will most likely be at work will no be checking live feeds throughout the day. would obviously not see anything on the news since nbc won't dear release anything in the us. unless they are reading an online international news site they will be oblivious to what's going on. and there are more of those than us.

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I miss CBC coverage, CTV is annoying.

Agreed. CBC showed whole ceremony uninterrupted. CTV will interrupt. Apparently if you can get a router and make ur IP address Canadian u can watch the ceremony. Google it.

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CBC often showed commercials. And sometime the same ones. Over and over. And over and over. And over and over again.

Although, NBC's Bob Costas has said he would offer a moment of silence on Friday to mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre.

Too bad he wouldn't offer 240 moments.

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Get real.

What r u complaining about? U're near the Canadian border. Watch it on CBC!! Jeez.

That's why Minneapolis/St. P will never get to host the Olympics.

The original post was a bit naive - allowing people to watch soap operas and talk shows was never the excuse NBC gave for not showing the OC live - but it was hardly unreasonable. Part of the reason the OC is so highly anticipated, and so special, is that it unites the entire world for one moment. NBC's tape delay makes all Americans miss the party. It isn't right. And no one should be excoriated for saying so.

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When the Beijing ceremony was delayed a good 12 hours, it's not like that many people watching (and there were a lot of them, make no mistake about it) were overly upset that the rest of the world had seen the ceremony hours earlier and we were watching it later.

You're kidding me, right? That's part of the reason why NBC's coverage is hated so much, because they waited those 12 hours to show events that already happened, INCLUDING the opening and closing ceremonies. Now, would I have woken up at 8 to watch the ceremonies live? Probably not. However, I did stay up to watch the basketball team win gold LIVE, and had to get up not 2 hours after it ended to go to breakfast.

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You're kidding me, right? That's part of the reason why NBC's coverage is hated so much, because they waited those 12 hours to show events that already happened, INCLUDING the opening and closing ceremonies. Now, would I have woken up at 8 to watch the ceremonies live? Probably not. However, I did stay up to watch the basketball team win gold LIVE, and had to get up not 2 hours after it ended to go to breakfast.

Thank you for proving my point there. Forget the rest of the competition though (all of which is now available live, so we can't play that game anymore).. we're talking about the Opening Ceremony. 34.2 million people watched the Opening Ceremony from Beijing on NBC, a record for a non-U.S. Summer games. Would 34 million people have been watching if NBC or any of their cable outlets been watching early in the morning had it been live? Absolutely not. Would showing it live elsewhere have eroded the primetime viewership? I'm willing to bet it would have. This is not a swim race or a track event where the theory is (which is dead wrong anyway and always has been) that if you know the result beforehand, you ruin the viewership. What exactly is getting ruined by delaying the OC? It's a show. It's a visual spectacular that suits NBC and primetime. 4pm on a Friday afternoon (and 1pm on the West coast) is not when you show an event that you're trying to attract 30 million viewers to. We here are all Olympic junkies. We'll watch at any odd hour because we care. There's a lot of people out there that don't care and simply want the Olympics to be on in the evenings when they're in front of their television. And especially for the Opening Ceremony, you're hardly losing any of the suspense on delay. Plus, if the cauldron lighting is everything it's cracked up to be, I bet you the buzz on Twitter that everyone seems to think kills the Olympics for NBC is actually going to help draw in viewers to a taped telecast, not scare them away.

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You know what though.. how many people are watching the tape-delayed show not caring 1 bit if it's live or not? This isn't an event where you could know the result and it spoils a little bit of the fun. When the Beijing ceremony was delayed a good 12 hours, it's not like that many people watching (and there were a lot of them, make no mistake about it) were overly upset that the rest of the world had seen the ceremony hours earlier and we were watching it later.

Well, right. I'm an Olympics fanatic and would the OC live at any time of night or day - and I realize that I'm in a small minority. I also realize the economics of the situation - NBC has paid gargantuan sums (they are basically bankrolling the entire fortnight) and they need to maximize viewership and ad revenue. That means they need to show it in prime time, with lots o' commercials.

What I never understood is why that also meant NBC couldn't also show the OC live. The way I see it, if 35 million people are going to tune in to the delayed broadcast (when delayed is the only option), then those same 35 million people ought to tune in to either the live or the primetime broadcast (if they show it twice, once live and once primetime). So it shouldn't make a difference to Olympic advertisers. I don't understand, frankly, this idea that showing it live earlier would "erode" the primetime viewership. As you note, it's not like there's a result that would serve as a spoiler. (Potential primetime viewers wouldn't even be able to see highlights of the live show before the re-broadcast; NBC embargoes their highlights anyway.)

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34.2 million people watched the Opening Ceremony from Beijing on NBC, a record for a non-U.S. Summer games. Would 34 million people have been watching if NBC or any of their cable outlets been watching early in the morning had it been live? Absolutely not. Would showing it live elsewhere have eroded the primetime viewership? I'm willing to bet it would have.

Hmmm. The same commercial realities also exist for other national broadcast rights holders as well. The likes of Nine Network here aren't showing the games to be altruistic - they're after ratings and ad revenues to get a return on their investment as well. And, like I'm sure NBC does, they tailor their coverage to suit the ratings and the ad revenues - a highlights package every night in prime time, full of annoying ads and multiple replays of any Oz gold medals or medal ceremonies from that day, interviews with the medallist etc. And they will replay the OC in prime time on Saturday night. ... Yet there would also be angry complaints, a storm of controversy and (I exaggerate not) probably questions and criticisms in Parliament if the OC was not also broadcast live, at whatever time of day or night it would be. One of the things the audience, and society and government, pretty well expect here is that any event involving the Aussies - competing or marching as a team - MUST be shown live as it happens. Forget that 90 per cent will only watch it that night at prime time, it really is considered essential and non-negotiable that any event at the Olympics of importance down here goes out live. Personally I think it builds anticipation and audience for the nightly prime time recaps anyway.

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NBC should show the Olympics live. Did CBS show the games live during their years as host broadcaster? All I recall of CBS is when they sent David Letterman's mother to the games.

Nope. Not even close. In some ways they were worse than NBC.

In 1994, CBS would broadcast its cheesy morning infotainment show live from Lillehammer. Of course, morning in the USA = afternoon in Europe, so there was plenty of action going on at the time - but CBS would just pretend nothing was happening, just so they could tape delay everything and show it a dozen hours later in prime time. There was one exception - when Dan Jansen was about to win his long-sought-after gold medal. They broke into the cheesy morning show to report his victory (they didn't show the actual race, mind you). Torture to an Olympics fanatic!

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Only the North American Olympics have been telecast live in the US (some of Squaw Valley). Montreal OC was. I know Lake Placid 1980's OC was live because I had to sequester myself in our conference room when I worked in NYC at around 2:00 pm that Friday, to watch it. And then of course, LA84, Atlanta96 and SLC02 were played live to whichever time zone was appropriate to. I think Calgary opened on a Saturday afternoon.

I mean you got livestreaming now, social media, DVDs afterwards, etc,etc. -- what else do you guys want?

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Hmmm. The same commercial realities also exist for other national broadcast rights holders as well.

No, they don't. NBC paid over $1.1 billion for the London rights - Nine Network, for example, paid about one-tenth of that. The commercial realities and pressures are much different when you consider that, for NBC, if they don't meet viewership expectations, they could suffer losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

(That said, I'm still not convinced that showing the OC live would erode primetime viewership. Clearly NBC is convinced, though.)

Yet there would also be angry complaints, a storm of controversy and (I exaggerate not) probably questions and criticisms in Parliament if the OC was not also broadcast live, at whatever time of day or night it would be. One of the things the audience, and society and government, pretty well expect here is that any event involving the Aussies - competing or marching as a team - MUST be shown live as it happens. Forget that 90 per cent will only watch it that night at prime time, it really is considered essential and non-negotiable that any event at the Olympics of importance down here goes out live.

Well, there are angry complaints and controversy stateside too, every time the Games come around. Doesn't make a difference. NBC is bankrolling the Games, and the IOC obviously doesn't care if it shows the OC live or not, so the decision is totally up to NBC. NBC is more than happy to offend and upset people who want to watch it live - because they are going to tune in at prime time anyway. My point is that, if the Nine Network was risking hundreds of millions of dollars on a single quadrennial veent, their commercial calculations might be a bit different.

I will concede though that the average Australian Olympics viewer is more sports-savvy and sophisticated than the average American Olympics viewer! (And I'm glad for that. I was traveling down under in 2004 during the Athens Games, and was thrilled with the opportunity to get up at 3 am to watch the OC) :)

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And then of course, LA84, Atlanta96 and SLC02 were played live to whichever time zone was appropriate to.

Key words here being "whichever time zone was appropriate". Usually that meant only the Eastern and Central time zones. So people in Mountain and Pacific couldn't watch the OC of their own nation's Olympic Games as it happened. That's a travesty, IMO.

I mean you got livestreaming now, social media, DVDs afterwards, etc,etc. -- what else do you guys want?

We do not yet have (legal) livestreaming of the Opening Ceremony. That is what we want! (Social media is a very poor substitute for live video.)

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I am astounded that the U.S will not get to the opening ceremony live. If the BBC did that, even if we wasn't host country, they simply wouldn't get away with it.

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Are they the only broadcaster not showing them live?

I have not heard of any other RHB not showing the OC live.

Again, this may be astounding, but it's par for the course for Americans. The only ceremonies shown live by NBC (or any previous American broadcaster) are those in local time zones; and even those are tape-delayed for much of the country. Vancouver, for example - live on the east coast, taped on the west coast. So you could live in Seattle, a stone's throw away from the biggest single sporting event of the year, the most-watched event on the planet - and you wouldn't be able to watch it live.

I'm hopeful that, with the rise of social media and internet streaming, it will become more and more untenable for American networks to continue this practice. Hopefully this is the end of a dumb era. I'm not holding my breath, though.

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Are they the only broadcaster not showing them live?

I don't know that Mexico would? Are China, Japan and India in friendly time zones?

From a broadcaster's POV, it just makes no sense to show this thing at 2:00am in the morning when only 80 or so insomniacs, maybe some 250 security guards, would only be watching it. They've sold the time to attract the greatest # of viewers for their sponsors. They owe them that. And obviously, those are on the prime-time hours when families,normal-hour working people can look forward to watching it. FGS, the Oscars, the Emmys, the SuperBowl, American Idiot, etc., etc., are ALL PLayed in the appropriate prime-time zones. The Olympic cermeonies are just another one of those.

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So you could live in Seattle, a stone's throw away from the biggest single sporting event of the year, the most-watched event on the planet - and you wouldn't be able to watch it live.

I flew into Seattle on Jet Blue during the OC. It was shown live on NBC's New York station, which is broadcast during the flight. So I wanted the games live, landed, checked into a hotel, then got to see much of it again on tape delay. Weird.

Personaly, I'm willing to give NBC some credit. They are putting a ton of stuff out there. If they one thing they are missing is the OC live, I'll gladly take it.

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I don't know that Mexico would? Are China, Japan and India in friendly time zones?

Mexico's Televisa is showing it live. I'm very thankful for that as I live close enough to the border that it's on my cable package.

I don't think China, Japan, and India care about time zones. The standard practice for all nations other than the US, AFAIK, is to show the ceremony live then repeat it in primetime. That way you get the insomniac/fanatic audience, AND the general audience.

From a broadcaster's POV, it just makes no sense to show this thing at 2:00am in the morning when only 80 or so insomniacs, maybe some 250 security guards, would only be watching it. They've sold the time to attract the greatest # of viewers for their sponsors. They owe them that.

That argument relies on theory that, if you show it live, you will then erode the viewership for the primetime broadcast. I'm just not convinced on that. Of course, if you show it twice, some people who watched it live would not tune in again to the primetime show. But why should that matter to advertisers? They just want eyeballs; they don't care what time of day those eyeballs are looking at their ad. I fail to see how showing the ceremony twice adds up to fewer viewers overall than showing the ceremony only once during prime time.

Personaly, I'm willing to give NBC some credit. They are putting a ton of stuff out there. If they one thing they are missing is the OC live, I'll gladly take it.

I feel the same way. If you told me in, say, 2000, that NBC would live-stream all sports but tape-delay the ceremonies, I would have taken that in a heartbeat. :)

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That argument relies on theory that, if you show it live, you will then erode the viewership for the primetime broadcast. I'm just not convinced on that. Of course, if you show it twice, some people who watched it live would not tune in again to the primetime show. But why should that matter to advertisers? They just want eyeballs; they don't care what time of day those eyeballs are looking at their ad. I fail to see how showing the ceremony twice adds up to fewer viewers overall than showing the ceremony only once during prime time.

well, apparently the (US) networks don't agree with you. So, tough.

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