The Winter Olympics kicked off on Thursday, Feb. 6, with some qualifying action on the slopes and the beginning of the first ever team event in figure skating. However, the Games don't properly get underway until we've seen the opening ceremony.
Feb. 7 will be dedicated to the global pomp and circumstance that drives the Olympics, and the ceremony always delivers an impressive spectacle.
When: Friday, Feb. 7, 11 a.m. ET (8 p.m. local time in Sochi)
Where: Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia
Watch on tape delay: NBC, 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. ET; rebroadcast 1 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. on Feb. 8
Stream: NBC Live Extra, not streaming the opening ceremony (cable or satellite subscriber login required)
Anchoring NBC's coverage will be their three heavy hitters, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and Bob Costas, plus David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker.
The opening ceremony begins at 11 a.m. ET, or 8 p.m. in Russia, so NBC will broadcast it on tape delay at 7:30 p.m. ET. That works perfectly since there are no results or medalists for the network or social media to spoil before they televise it.
There will be plenty of entertainment on hand for the grand event, which usually plays out like a Broadway production on steroids. However, NBC will not stream the event live in order to draw more viewers to watch in prime time.
From Saturday: NBC Claims Opening Ceremony Was Too “Complex” to Stream Live http://t.co/g5CIdJIl— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) July 29, 2012
As noted by Brian Steinberg of Variety, chairman of NBC Sports Group Mark Lazarus confirmed that NBC is trying to milk the ratings, though Lazarus put it more diplomatically: "We want to put context to it, with the full pageantry it deserves. We are looking to maximize the viewing experience for our audience."
Lazarus also noted that NBC would likely "put snippets of it out throughout the day" online, though don't expect anything close to the full streaming experience that they are offering with the athletic events.
And their decision not to show the opening ceremony live is nothing new. As NBAer Dirk Nowitzki noted back in 2012, that Olympics also saw a taped opening on NBC.
Can't believe NBC is not showing opening ceremony live... That's brutal— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) July 27, 2012
According to ABC's Matt Gutman and Sabrina Parise, the ceremony will include 40,000 spectators watching an array of arts that is set to include a "choir of 1,000 children, who are expected to share a stage with floating cathedral domes, glowing magical horses, buildings, trains and bridges."
Do you care that the opening ceremony is on tape delay?
With Russia spending $51 billion on these Olympic Games, the opening ceremony is sure to be truly spectacular.
You can catch live coverage of the Games on Canada's CBC or Great Britain's BBC, but a foreign IP address will prevent you from accessing that outside of each of those countries, while NBC will prevent you from accessing their own feed in order to boost their ratings for a recorded broadcast.