NBC to stream closing ceremony live
NBC acknowledged some critics Saturday in announcing it changed
plans and will stream Sunday’s Olympic closing ceremony live
Sunday’s ceremony from London will still air on a tape-delayed
basis on NBC in prime time. For the opening ceremony, NBC took some
heat for not making the event available to anyone in the United
States for hours after the fact.
The opening ceremony was watched by 40.7 million people, a
bigger audience than for the Grammys and Oscars this year. NBC has
since found that streaming live all of the Olympic sports events
online has not cut into its prime-time audience, which has been
unexpectedly bigger than the 2008 Beijing Games.
”Going into the opening ceremony, we didn’t have a sense for
what our ratings would be and what streaming would or wouldn’t do
to our broadcasts,” said NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus. ”But
we think we’ve learned enough and have promised to innovate and
continually evolve our broadcast coverage.”
NBC stressed that Sunday’s stream was an experiment and doesn’t
necessarily mean the same policy would hold true for the 2014
Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The stream is available to cable and
satellite customers who go to the NBCOlympics.com website.
Sunday’s ceremony has been described as a music-filled
after-party that will feature the Spice Girls, The Who, George
Michael, Muse and others in a show that will include performances
of some 30 British hit singles over five decades.
Bob Costas, Al Michaels and Ryan Seacrest will host the
ceremony, NBC said.