Monday, July 30, 2012

The Olympics opening ceremony

I didn't get to see the opening ceremony on Friday (but I've heard lots about it and read about it) because I spent most of the evening driving my daughter to an event 70 miles away, waiting for her, and then driving her back. Of course, by the time we set off, the ceremony had already been underway for almost an hour, but we hadn't been able to watch any of it because the American broadcaster, NBC, was making everyone wait until prime time in the evening to see it (and BBC's iPlayer won't work from outside the country without some jiggery-pokery I can't be bothered to get involved in.) 

Apparently their explanation of why NBC couldn't show it live, or even just stream it online was:
"They [the opening ceremonies] are complex entertainment spectacles that do not translate well online because they require context, which our award-winning production team will provide for the large primetime audiences that gather together to watch them."
Context? Hmm - they meant translation or interpretation  I suppose  - apparently the cultural divide between the UK and the US is now so large that the opening ceremony would be incomprehensible unless it were explained. Hmmph! I think not. But if any explanations WERE needed, the NBC presenters didn't appear to be the people to do it. OK, so a lot of people don't know who Tim Berners-Lee is but the point of having facilitators "give context" to the production should have been for them to sound knowledgeable! Meredith Vieira made it sound as though the ceremony was honoring someone of no consequence outside the British Isles! And after choosing not to broadcast an entire segment of the event, NBC condescendingly commented that it was "a credit to (ceremony director) Danny Boyle that it required so little editing."

So, once the opening ceremony was over, I thought I would at least be able to use the handy-dandy NBC Live Olympics app I'd downloaded to be able to watch live events on my iPod. Despite subscribing to a digital cable package and internet service from Comcast (who owns NBC, or vice versa, I forget which) I keep getting the message that my subscription needs to be upgraded (to a more expensive one of course) in order to watch this free streaming service. Grrrrrr . . . .


Expat mum said...

Well, I've been banging on about it now since the Opening Ceremony, and give up watching half the time as there are too many inane commentators and commercials. It's really terrible. Good job we're not paying for a TV license.

nappy valley girl said...

(and BBC's iPlayer won't work from outside the country without some jiggery-pokery I can't be bothered to get involved in.)

Email me, and I'll give you some advice - we've become converts!

Almost American said...

The only good thing about the advertising is that when it's on I tell the kids to go do some chores - with no advertising it would be hard to get them off their bums!

Thanks NVG - I'll take you up on that offer!

Fred said...

Two links:

And the one I've been watching:

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