NBC’s Opening Ceremonies broadcast: available exclusively on tape delay

By Matt Brooks

Over the last few months NBC has taken every opportunity to trumpet the unprecedented amount of coverage it will devote to the London Olympics.

olympic mascots

GALLERY: Click on the image above to final preparations from organizers and athletes.

From CNBC to Telemundo to the Internet, NBC is pulling out all the stops to provide as much live coverage as its audience can handle… with one notable exception.

If you want to watch tonight’s Opening Ceremonies with the rest of the world as it happens, you’re out of luck. Apparently NBC’s promise to live stream the Games didn’t include the introductory showcase.

The Parade of Nations begins at 9 p.m. London time, or 4 p.m. on the East Coast. But Danny Boyle’s main event won’t air in the United States until prime time.

NBC’s broadcast starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT and lasts until midnight.

Tape delay has long been an issue for Olympics coverage as NBC has intentionally waited to air more compelling events in prime time. This year, the network has partnered with YouTube to live stream every event online, on a tablet or smartphone, meaning the throngs of fans anxiously awaiting the trampoline results can get their fix in real-time.

But unfortunately for British-Americans, Anglophiles and average Joes alike, the biggest event of all doesn’t fall under that umbrella.

Sure, after spending $1.8 billion for the rights to broadcast the London Games, NBC deserves to milk its prize.┬áBut with a mere five-hour time change between NBC’s New York headquarters and the site of this year’s Games, would it have killed them to air the festivities live on NBC Sports – or at least online – and then re-air them tonight?

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