2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony – How Did NBC Do?

Published 3 years ago by

2012 london olympics ceremony 2 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony   How Did NBC Do?

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.

2012 london olympics opening ceremony 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony   How Did NBC Do?

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?

[poll id="353"]

[poll id="354"]

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. No single party is to blame here. The ceremony was outright boring and strange to begin with and then NBC robbed it of any shred of artistic value it may have had. So much fail on both sides of the pond.

  2. Boring! Everyone I talked to gave out about the same time I did, during the kids hospital bit that went on and on and on. Snooze fest. Just play a few freakin’ songs, march the athletes in, have some fireworks and get on with it!!

  3. Typical American fashion to mess everything up. I am reminded of why I NEVER watch NBC. What a bunch of morons. How do you screw the opening ceremony of the Olympics up? I know Americanize it. Fill it full of inane talking head babble and money grubbing commercials. Bob Costas used to be top notch. Now he sounds old and bitter. Matt Lauer is a no talent hack. I can’t wait to get out of this [Removed by Moderator] country and I was born here!

    • I can’t wait for you to leave either.

    • You sound like an ignorant american, you’re only contributing to the negative stereotype you preach. Please leave, America doesn’t want you.

  4. Does look like Stark Expo :D

  5. I’m a bit horrified by what you guys are saying about NBC. Their coverage sounds like a total shambles and an insult to everyone involved. How incredibly low to be making snarky, political comments about athletes, if a commentator here in Britain had acted like that under similar circumstances they would be apologizing or fired the day after.
    I do not think the ceremony was ‘bad to begin with’ either… I totally loved it, in all its bizarre and subtle glories. The influence of employing a feature film director was quite strong and meant the footage is most beautiful when it’s unaltered and uninterrupted. I can see why that might make it boring or too much mental stimulation to enjoy for some, but I’m glad Britain took the risk.

  6. The Incorporated “environmental ” sound of the screaming crowds drowns out the commentators, especially noticed during the Opening ceremony– could not hear Matt and Meredith during the ceremony, could not hear the comentators during the bike races.
    It’s not the TV because other stations are find and some events, gymnastics, can hear, it was also somewhat a problem during the swimm meets with large crowds.

    I’m seriously thinking about not watching- I’ve always watched for the lat 30 years. This year is not at all enjoyable. The young people watching with me also can’t hear, so its not old age.
    I saw the interview with the designer of the Olympics who said he interlaced the “envirnmentsl” soune into the commentary to “inhance the experience”. It RUINS the experience and I’m NOT enyoying it!!!

  7. Thanks for proving my point. Say what you will unless others disagree. Then you can say nothing.

  8. Many people here in the US already new that Meredith and Matt had lost their journalistic intregrity but I expected more from Bob Costas who has been covering the Olympics for years. I think it is pathetic that all three of them focused on global and US politics (especially their comments about GB’s national healthcare) instead of the Olympic Athletes and the incredible talents they all possess.

  9. Has NBC fired Meredith Vieira, Matt Lauer and Bob Costas yet? These so called commentators were ignorant, failed to appreciate The Olympic Opening Ceremony for what it is. Not every nation has the same theme. English have the right to portray their own history. Calling the choreographed lights from audiences’ seats “weird”, the snide remarks at sick children’s dance “they don’t look that sick to me” … ahem.. the kids were dancers who represented the sick children duh.. and saying “frankly I don’t know if it’s cute or creepy”.. Made me wince each time they opened their mouths. I am embarrassed as an American to have witnessed the sarcastic, ignorant and aweful coverage by the above people, and that NBC didn’t tell them to shut up already.

    • I completely agree. I think the commentators sole purpose during the opening ceremonies should simply be to narrate what the intention of the scene is if it isn’t already obvious to the public, much like they do for the Macy Day Parade on Thanksgiving. The remarks such as “cute or creepy” are not needed.

    • Fully agree! Their constant, annoying, commentary made it hard (if not impossible) to fully enjoy the ceremony. I am also horrified at some of the comments they make about some of the Olympians… some are borderline racist and ignorant,,,

  10. Despite all of the commentary, I thought the opening to the Olympic Games was beautiful. It truly showcased all that was great about the UK, and the firework display at the end of the ceremony was breathtaking. When my co-worker at Dish told me there was a rumor involving the Queen and parachutes, I was quick to program my DVR. With the help of my Sling Adapter, I was able to watch all of the shows programmed on my DVR as well as live TV right on my phone. I’m glad, because seeing the Queen and James Bond jump out of a plane, made the whole opening ceremonies an event I will never forget.

  11. I’m British and I’m so completely offended to hear that the NBC cut out the 7/7 London Bombings tribute. Instead they replaced the footage with an interview with Micheal Phelps. Just imagine if the tables were turned, what if the BBC cut out a 9/11 tribute? How would America react?

    • Yes!! I am with you on that one! IT seems NBC have stitched everyone up :)

  12. Disappointed that NBC edited out the tribute to those killed by terrorists and could not bring themselves to appreciate the roll of labor in the industrial progress.

  13. Disappointed that NBC edited out the tribute to those killed by terrorists and could not bring themselves to appreciate the roll of labor in the industrial progress.

  14. I wont watch NBC. Their inaccurate lazy reporting, snarky hosts, and drippy politics turned me off long ago.

  15. That is bad news for you guys in the USA as this opening ceremony was truly inspiring. Having read some of the comments on here and the story itself it seems that running commercials on American TV is more important than being entertained. BBC over here has no sales commercials whatsoever and that is what makes the station so fantastic. I was really not too interested in the Olympics until seeing this opening and now watch it constantly. To my US cousins I suggest watching on BBC IPlayer or downloading the whole thing as it really is worth watching without ad breaks and morons talking over it at all times.

  16. It sounds like NBC ****** it right up for most of you guys. And as for cutting out the 7/7 bombings tribute to go to Ryan Seacrest interviewing an athlete?? Shocking. Imagine if that had been a (9/11 tribute.

    I still don’t get any of the negatives really. I thought the whole thing was fantastic. Everything had a message. People saying they were unimpressed with this and that…..really? Some guys just love to complain about everything. I could see how much time and effort went into the opening ceremony and have nothing but respect and gratitude for everyone involved.

  17. I loved opening ceremony, everything was great until you started showing all that water and beach volleyball, it was ok for awhile but enough is enough and now repeating interviews with Michael Phelps, PLEASE MOVE ON.

  18. As a Brit, I feel sorry for American viewers because the BBC coverage was relatively decent compared to its coverage of the Diamond Jubilee. Sounds like NBC cocked up. However, I can appreciate that some of the features of the ceremony could’ve only been fully appreciated by a British audience. However, it did actually fill me with pride for my nation.

    Was fairly insulted to find out that NBC cut out the 7/7 tribute. Yes the singing and dancing wasn’t the greatest tribute, but still, if America had found out that a British network had cut out a 9/11 tribute for a short interview with David Beckham, for example, the American citizens would go mental.

    Thought the lighting of the flame was INCREDIBLE but some of the music, such as Sir Macca was a wee bit embarrassing. Was sad to find out that the NBC commentators insulted Great Ormand Street Hospital because that really is an amazing hospital, and genuinely saved my life when I was a baby.

    One more thing,( I know this is a long post), to our American cousins, if you want amazing coverage, get on to BBC iPlayer website or download app from AppStore! BBC has had fantastic coverage this games!!

  19. Sorry me again, just had a thought, if you hated the NBC commentary, why not turn the tv volume right down and just play some music instead or something to that effect??


  21. I am a Brit too and totally agree with Rory above. The ceremony was very long and some parts a bit cringey but overwhelmingly it made me proud- simple as that! Would have hated to watch it constantly being interrupted by adverts and I too am a little shocked that the 7/7 part was not shown- the BBC would never do that if it was a tribute to the victims of 9/11. I have no clue who the commentators are that you are referring to but to be honest we had our share of pundits who let their mouths run away with them.
    The lighting of the flame was truly stunning- beat that Rio!

  22. NBC’s hosts deperately needed a UK citizen to assist them with the commentary as either they aren’t well travelled, cultured, planned and prepared or maybe the Today Show is the extent of their abilities. If the broadcast were on CNN for sure they would have had Piers Morgan anchor or co-commentate to give the ceremony the understanding / class it deserved…

  23. Because I’m not British, I spent much of the opening ceremonies trying to figure out what was going on. I too loved the James Bond/Queen entrance. But, once the Queen was seated, I was confused as to why she looked so unhappy to be at the Olympics.

    For the closing ceremonies, it was disappointing that several artists couldn’t sing worth a damn, but I was happy to see the Pet Shop Boys who were one of my childhood favourites.

    I had my choice of watching the ceremonies on either NBC or CTV (Canada). Both were terrible. CTV’s hosts also talked too much and purely focused on the Canadian athletes. During the closing ceremonies when the athletes entered, all they did was focus the camera on them and we lost the panoramic view of the ceremony.

    I have always loved the Olympics and cannot wait to see what Brazil comes up with.

  24. ALL of NBC’s coverage during prime time was pathetic! I work during the day. All they managed to cover during prime time was Bob Costas, beach volleyball, Bob Costas, beach volleyball, Bob Costas and John McEnroe interviewing beach volleyball women (only one of the teams by the way), Bob Costas talking about historic Olympic events, 5 min of velodrome, Bob Costas talking…, 1:30 sec of field events — but only if the US had a potential medalist, Bob Costas, Bob Costas, Bob Costas…. It all ended with Bob Costas and Al Michaels waxing on, and on, and on….about nothing.

    I miss Wide World of Sports — Al Michaels should be embarrassed. Bob Costas never will be embarrassed – he doesn’t get it.

  25. the opening ceremony was rly cool=D

  26. Stunning, the only way to describe it. Far too cultured for some, not mentioning any uncultured nations.

  27. The ignorance of the commentators was an embarrassment to the US Media & our global education as a nation. Even a 16 year old that had goggled Wiki would have known more about the country, its history and symbolism represented by the multiple levels exhibited during the ceremony. For Goodness sakes: PEEL THE ONION!! TO understand the depth not just the individual, or station media opinion & politics.
    Lost a viewer.

  28. The commentators sickened me about their bias and ignorance but I do not hold them completely responsible as I know how ones hands can be tied. However the lack of knowledge of Russia and the mere fact that the reporting was so politically biased that they were obviously used as pawns was in excusable and ironic given the games are being held in RUSSIA!. They obviously could not or were not allowed to comment on what should have been understood, which was that the “intent” of the Opening ceremonies for Russia/Putin was to give insight to the world about the struggles and strife’s that RUSSIA has had to overcome, a formally closed nation & oppressed nation, its history, the good, the bad & ugly of it all, the loss of many of their States, and the difficulties that they have tried to overcome or endure while trying to sustain pride and regrow as a nation. In so doing, Putin took on the challenge of hosting these games and wanted to let the world know that regardless of their struggles and history they embrace the spirit of the Olympics, affordable or not and welcome even critics and will not be offended by those who choose not to celebrate the worlds best athletes merely for political reasons or public opinion.
    Shame on NBC for NOT getting IT!!

  29. Could not hear what commentators were saying, (wondering how others who posted were able to). Was ticked off not being able to hear, but according to many posts here…I didn’t miss much. I would have thought the sound should not have been an issue while doing an Olympic opening ceremony. So disappointing to me, and I don’t recall this ever being an issue at other Olympics.