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NBC to Air Olympics Opening Ceremony on Delay

NBC will stream every athletic contest coming out of the Rio Olympics live but will hold the Opening Ceremony back for a one-hour delay, Mark Lazarus, NBC Sports Group chairman said at an Olympics press event July 11. Lazarus said NBC will “curate” the Aug. 5 ceremony, then run the stream and the broadcast an hour later.  

“We think it’s important to give context to the show,” he said. “The opening ceremony is a celebration of Brazilian culture, of the pageantry, the excitement, the flair this beautiful nation has. We think it's important that we are able to put it in context for viewers so it’s not just a flash of color.”

Lazarus said the delayed ceremony broadcast is consistent with what the network did for the London and Sochi Games.

NBC Sports will air some 6,700 hours of Olympics programming, most of it live. Lazarus acknowledged the various health and fiscal issues in the host city but was optimistic about things coming together in time for the big show.

“We are ready and Rio is ready,” he said.