Why NBC Will Offer Every Event at the Winter Olympics Via Live Streaming — All Except One, That Is

Jan 8, 2014  •  Post A Comment

If you’re hoping to use live streaming to watch one of the most popular events of the upcoming Winter Olympics, forget it. NBCUniversal will offer almost the entire thing via Internet streaming, but Brian Steinberg reports in Variety that it’s holding out on one key event: the Opening Ceremony.

The Opening Ceremony is among the most popular events at any Olympic Games, and NBC is reserving that portion of the Olympics for television alone, Steinberg writes.

The decision comes even though the network has decided to stream every competition in the Games, the report notes. The Olympics, being held in Sochi, Russia, will kick off with the Opening Ceremony Friday, Feb. 7.

“We want to put context to it, with the full pageantry it deserves,” Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, told Variety of the network’s decision.

“He said executives believed an unvarnished live stream of the colorful ceremonies would not make sense without description. What’s more, the company feels the opening-ceremony telecast is enjoyed by families who gather together, making it a natural for the boob-tube,” Steinberg writes.

That might help ensure higher ratings for the ceremony, the story points out. The ceremony will be hosted by Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and Bob Costas, as well as New Yorker editor David Remnick, who is serving as a “special correspondent of sorts” for the broadcasts, Steinberg writes.

NBC hasn’t yet decided whether to live stream the Closing Ceremony, Lazarus said. The company is “leaning” toward putting the event online, he added.

Here’s the Opening Ceremony from the previous Winter Olympics — the Vancouver Games in 2010:

One Comment

  1. Yes, because we all know that live internet streaming of the Opening Ceremony would certainly diminish the “full pageantry it deserves”. ???
    This is the type of odd thinking that must go on continuously at that network

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