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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

NBC Says They Cut Memorial Tribute To Save Time, But They Replaced It With Something Two Minutes Longer

Illustration for article titled NBC Says They Cut Memorial Tribute To Save Time, But They Replaced It With Something Two Minutes Longer

The bullshit continues to flow from NBC's mouths as they attempt to justify slicing an entire portion of Friday's London Olympics opening ceremony from their tape-delayed broadcast. That portion included a tribute featuring two dead U.S. servicemen and a requiem for victims of the 7/7 terror attacks.


NBC's still denying the excised "Abide With Me" performance was about terror victims:

But it wasn't meant to be a tribute. It was disappointing to see that misconception spread.


Oh, yes the "misconception" that spread due to Reuters reporting it after a press conference with the choreographer. I can see how people might be confused.

But by far the most ludicrous claim by NBC is that cutting the segment was necessary in order to fit the broadcast into a set time schedule. As you can see above, NBC would have saved time if they'd simply aired the segment as it happened—two minutes and 14 seconds, to be precise. On the live broadcast, 7:14 elapses from the end of David Beckham appearing on a speedboat to the start of the parade of nations. NBC's broadcast took 9:28 to get from Becks to the same point.

For sure, a good six minutes of that 9:28 was commercials (the other three and a half minutes were a Ryan Seacrest interview of Michael Phelps). Obviously we don't begrudge NBC showing commercials—they are a business, after all—but given that NBC's claim all along has been that their editing was "tailored for an American audience," why not run the ads during random nations' parade? Or, perhaps, during the portions of the ceremony where French was spoken? That would still be shitty, but it would at least be consistent with their alleged editorial viewpoint. It's not like Meredith Vieira was providing insightful commentary to the parade anyway.


That, or they could have aired the whole thing and informed affiliates their late local news would be very, very late. NBC allocated four hours to broadcasting one of the world's great and rare spectacles; they give more than five to the NFL every autumn Sunday night.

PREVIOUSLY: Here's The Opening Ceremony Tribute To Terrorism Victims NBC Doesn't Want You To See
Opening Ceremony Choreographer "Disheartened And Disappointed" NBC Cut His Entire Performance Out Of Their Broadcast
NBC Responds: We Removed The Opening Ceremony Memorial To Terrorism Victims Because The Tribute Wasn't About America
NBC Also Edited Out A Tribute Featuring Two Dead U.S. Servicemen From Their Opening Ceremony Broadcast


For a handy master schedule of every Olympic event, click here.

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