Olympics Opening Ceremony 2016: Date, Start Time for Live Broadcast

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2016

Fireworks explode above the Maracana stadium during the rehearsal of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Felipe Dana/Associated Press

The once-every-four-years spectacle known as the Olympics is finally here. Hosted by Rio de Janeiro, the Olympic competition will get underway with a scattering of events Wednesday, but the opening ceremonies won't be held until Friday.

In recent Olympics, NBC has televised the pageantry of the ceremonies, which includes the march of the participating nations into the Olympic Stadium along with a series of well-known entertainers putting on performances, on a delayed basis.

Here's the viewing breakdown for the opening ceremonies:

When: Friday, Aug. 5, at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro

TV: NBC (8 p.m. ET)

Since Rio is an hour ahead of Eastern Time, it was expected that NBC would bring the event live to its viewing public. However, the network won't start televising until 8 p.m. 

NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus explained to media members in a pre-Olympics press event last week that the event would be shown on tape delay.

"We are not going to stream the Opening Ceremonies live," Lazarus said (h/t Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com). "Those will be curated and will air one hour after they occur, [and] will take place with us on NBC broadcast network as well. We think it's important to give the context to the show."

Lazarus and other NBC officials tried to explain additional reasons for showing the event on a delayed basis, one of which is it allows the network to intersperse commercials into the broadcast.

"It's hard to put commercials in a live show and not miss something," Lazarus said. "Then the question would be: Well, why do you have to ruin it with commercials? We are a for-profit organization, and we spend a lot of money to put on the Olympics, and I think [we have] the right—and duty to our shareholders—to make some revenue from that."

The ceremonies are expected to have a decidedly sexy angle, as international model Gisele Bundchen will "strut" her way into the stadium, and NBC will use Victoria's Secret models Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima for its TV coverage, according to Caroline Graham of the Daily Mail.

Per Graham, Giselle will be the living "embodiment" of "The Girl from Ipanema," a song that was popularized in the 1960s. Ipanema is a seaside neighborhood in Southern Rio.

Soccer legend Pele is expected to light the Olympic flame inside the stadium, per Graham.

The list of performers includes Brazilian stars Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Paulinho da Viola, Jorge Ben Jor and Luiz Melodia. These stars are expected to put on an event that is reflective of the culture of Brazil in general, and Rio in particular. 

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