NBC has reportedly asked the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee to change the order of the Parade of Nations during the Opening Ceremony of next month’s Olympic Games, so that America appears later in its broadcast.
As the United States begins with the letter “E” in Portuguese – Estados Unidos – the nation is currently due to be introduced towards the start of the alphabetically ordered parade.
According to Brazilian newspaper Agora São Paulo, NBC is concerned that the US being presented so early in the ceremony, scheduled to take place at the Maracanã Stadium on August 5, will result in reduced television audiences.
The American broadcaster has therefore submitted a request for the US to be moved to the end of the parade with countries being introduced in accordance with the English language.
Rio 2016 is reportedly against the change, though, and wants to keep the Parade of Nations order already established.
insidethegames has contacted Rio 2016 and NBC for a comment on the supposed request and is awaiting a response.
NBC has already faced criticism after being named as the main driver behind the late start times for swimming finals.
The finals are set to begin at 10pm local time in order to accommodate American broadcasting.
It means athletes competing may not get back to the Athletes’ Village until as late as 3am local time.
NBC, whose coverage was the subject of fierce debate during the London Olympics four years ago, were the big winners at the Olympic Golden Rings in 2012.
The biennial awards ceremony honours broadcasters from around the world for their coverage of the Games.
The American broadcaster won gold medals in three of the four categories they were eligible for, including in the Best Olympic Programme category for its overview programme “The Games of the XXX Olympiad”.
It also won gold for Best On Air Promotion and in the Best Olympic Feature for its film “Measure and Motion”.
The golden hat-trick came despite the controversy that accompanied much of NBC’s coverage during the Olympics, which included broadcasting many of the top events, such as the Opening Ceremony and men’s 100 metres final featuring Usain Bolt, on tape delay to maximize audiences.
It was also criticized around the world for failing to air a touching tribute to the victims of the 7/7 London bombings during the Opening Ceremony, cutting away to an interview with swimmer Michael Phelps instead.
Other controversies included showing swimmer Missy Franklin with her Olympic gold medal in the 100m backstroke at the same time as an advert for the race which it had yet to show on its main network and later broadcasting a commercial featuring a monkey immediately after an item about gymnast Gabby Douglas and African-American girls.
There was also criticism about the quality of its online coverage, with many internet users complaining either that they could not find the correct stream or it was not working.
Criticism reached such a crescendo that at one stage the Twitter hashtag #NBCFail was trending.
By Daniel Etchells
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz