The 2014 Winter Olympics are underway from Sochi, Russia. However, the two-week celebration won't begin until the highly anticipated opening ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7.
But while NBC Universal will offer a live stream of every event for American viewers, the broadcast giant has decided not to air the opening ceremony live, stirring up even more controversy surrounding the network's Olympic coverage.
According to NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus via Variety's Brian Steinberg, a live stream of the opening ceremony would make little sense without description: "We want to put context to it, with the full pageantry it deserves. We are looking to maximize the viewing experience for our audience."
Viewers in the United States can watch the entire ceremony on tape delay in prime time on Feb. 7. at 7:30 p.m. ET. As for live streaming options, let's take a look at where other viewers can go to watch.
Date: Friday, February 7, 2014
Start Time: 8 p.m. local time, 11 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. GMT
Where: Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia
*Viewers in the United States will not have access to a live stream.
American Viewers Out of Luck
While American viewers will have access to an NBC live stream of every event in Sochi from start to finish, they will have to look elsewhere to view the opening ceremony live and as it unfolds on Feb. 7.
As already mentioned, NBC Universal has opted to broadcast the ceremony on tape delay in prime time. For those working during the day or unable to get to a television or computer, the delayed broadcast will likely be an ideal alternative.
However, the nearly nine-hour delay could result in a significant number of spoilers for American viewers, who would be wise to avoid the Internet altogether on Feb. 7.
Those watching in Europe and Canada will be able to stream all the action live via BBC or CBC. However, those sites are likely to block users logging on with an American IP address.
Whether you're following on Twitter, streaming live or watching on tape delay, you're sure to be drawn in by Sochi's opening ceremony.
According to The Telegraph's Viktoria Ivanova, 40 million roubles (roughly $1.15 million) will be spent on Friday's opening ceremony entertainment. On top of that, more than a dozen buildings, six locomotives and six bridges have been constructed to go up on stage.
Unsurprisingly, there'll be tons of music and dancing as well.
In addition to the cultural showcase, viewers should be on the lookout for Olympic athletes. The parade of athletes is not only an Olympic tradition but a proud moment for those involved and even those watching at home.
Obviously, the signature moment of any Olympic Games is the lighting of the flame. It's still a mystery as to who will do the honors in 2014, but it's guaranteed to be a spectacle nonetheless.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.