Sunday, August 10, 2008

Did NBC Alter the Olympic Opening Ceremonies?

According to Slashdot, NBC altered the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics for their televised premier.

I watched the opening ceremonies on NBC, and I remember Team entering the stadium relatively late in the program. According to Slashdot, though, the American team actually entered the stadium much earlier in the event. You can, allegedly, see the U.S. team inside the stadium standing in the background in some of the earlier shots of the broadcast.

Why would NBC change the order of the athletes' entrance? To keep Americans glued to their screens, of course. In past Olympics, as teams have entered in alphabetical order by name, NBC could be fairly certain that American viewers would stay tuned until the end of the broadcast -- because Team USA usually entered near the last.

This year, though, with teams entering in a random order (by English alphabetizing standards, anyway), Team USA appeared earlier in the line-up. Many viewers turn the ceremony off after their team enters, and -- if Slashdot is correct -- NBC did not want that to happen too soon.

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