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Broadcast and streamed all over the world – to more than a billion people – the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics has certainly created a response.

Danny Boyle’s “Isles Of Wonder” – the name of the $40 million spectacle – has been praised by most reviewers as:

> “Brilliant” (The Guardian)

> “A triumph of punk over pop” (The Telegraph)

> And as as a successful attempt by Britain to “present itself to the world … as something it has often struggled to express even to itself: a nation secure in its own post-empire identity” The New York Times

But there have been some issues.

The American broadcaster NBC – who had the exclusive ceremony broadcasting rights for the USA – refused to broadcast it live and saved its showing until later on that evening, during primetime US television.

They also blocked all live web streams from entering the USA.

This led to a large number of YouTuber’s posting videos titled “Olympic Opening Ceremony” only to ask the user to click on a link to view it live.

Probably the most successful day ever for the Spyware industry.

NBC’s Decision – Good Or Bad?

Frustrated by the lack of live coverage, annoyed Americans hit Twitter.

As did a British ex-pat. Piers Morgan – who has a show on CNN – tweeted:

“Laughable that America is yet to start watching the Olympic. Seriously.”

But opinion wasn’t entirely negative, with Scott Collins of the LA Times reporting that:

“NBC started the London Olympics with ratings gold.”

He went to say that the decision of NBC to broadcast the ceremony during US primetime led to a new record in TV ratings that wouldn’t have been achieved if it had been broadcast live.

It received over 40.7 million viewers – more than 1 million more than the opening ceremony for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta – the previous record holder.

The chairman of the NBC Sports Group – Mark Lazarus – celebrated the viewing numbers by saying:

“This audience number for the London Opening Ceremony is a great early sign that our strategy of driving people to watch NBC in primetime is working”.

Is live viewing overrated?

There are a lot of people who’d say no – something that’s proven by the amount of views that have been received by all of those false YouTube videos.

However, being able to finish the working day and then come home to a treat like the London 2012 Olympic Games – I think most people will say that’s worth the wait.

And I’m sure that the full, official, glorious HD web video will soon be available on YouTube.

Just make sure you select the right one.

Click here to find out more about HD web video production.

Photo by (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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