The opening ceremony of the Olympics is always a must-see event. The hours-long event includes the parading of each nation's top athletes and the lighting of the Olympic torch, and if past viewership is to repeat itself, the event commands the attention of an NFL-sized audience. And among the buzz and scandal of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the world will certainly be watching. What channel is Rio's opening ceremony on? You won't want to miss a second of the event Brazil has been preparing nearly a decade for.
The opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics is set to air on NBC, starting at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 5. The event will be broadcast with a one-hour delay, for a particularly American-centric reason: NBC wants to push back its coverage of the ceremony by an hour to maximize its American audience. Choosing to broadcast the event live would have called for a 7 p.m. start time, and with typical U.S. work hours, NBC feared that Americans would not have time to make it home or out to their local bar to catch the start of the ceremony.
To that same end, a report from Bloomberg alleged that NBC also unsuccessfully lobbied to have the United States pushed back in the official order during the Parade of Nations. Similarly, NBC reportedly argued that the country should enter as the "United States," instead of the customary "Estados Unidos" in Brazil's official language, Portuguese, effectively pushing back the American athletes to the end of the parade, Bloomberg reported. The network supposedly believed this move would have kept Americans tuned in for a longer period of time. But per International Olympic Committee rules, the opening ceremony must take place in the native language of the host country.
To catch the rest of the Olympics, NBC and its affiliate channels will also be providing around-the-clock coverage. You can watch the programs on NBC's digital platforms, as well as on NBC's affiliates Telemundo, MSNBC, and USA Network, to name a few.
Unimaginably, that accounts for 6,755 hours of programming for this year's Summer Games, equaling out to about 356 hours of coverage per day over the games' respective 19 days. NBC has said that if it only ran on one channel, it would take 281 days to complete its broadcast. Meaning, there won't be anything left for when it comes to the hours upon hours of Olympics coverage. But the assured grandiosity of the opening ceremony is a pretty good place to start.