Danny Boyle’s secretive Opening Ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics has finally been revealed. Taking audiences on a beautifully chaotic journey through many iconic moments in modern British history, Boyle’s opening ceremony made for an awe-inspiring beginning to the world’s most legendary event.
However, while much of the world watched live as the 2012 London Olympics began, American audiences had to wait until primetime to watch the lighting of the flames. Looking to make up much of the $1.3 billion that NBC spent on the rights to the Olympics, the Opening Ceremony that American audiences watched was vastly different than what the rest of the world witnessed.
Continuously cutting to commercials throughout, the subtle, nuanced program that Danny Boyle planned out was all but eviscerated, as a need to recoup some of the money spent on the Olympic rights took its toll on a ceremony that the world was raving about just hours before. Though some may have been happy about the faux fast-paced Olympic Ceremony (coming in 30 minutes under the live broadcast), many who watched had issues with NBC’s coverage.
Appropriately complaining about not being able to watch the Olympic Ceremony live with the rest of the world, many complaints quickly turned to the abundance of commentary that was provided by Today Show hosts Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer – and later NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas, taking over for Vieira. Stepping over many of the beautifully crafted moments of the Opening Ceremony, it was almost impossible for anyone to have appreciated Boyle’s carefully planned program the same way they could have if it was aired live, uninterrupted, and without such substantial commentary.
At one point questioning whether something was “creepy” or “cute,” Lauer and Vieira’s commentary quickly became familiar to anyone who has had to sit next to talkative theater goers. With many people taking to Twitter to question whether they could stop talking long enough for viewers to actually enjoy the opening ceremony, we pose the question to you…
How did NBC do with the coverage of the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony?