Friday, July 27, 2012

Queen Elizabeth to Open the Olympics Tonight

NBC’s Olympic primetime host Bob Costas will host the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony from Olympic Stadium alongside co-hosts Matt Lauer, NBC’s ‘Today’ co-anchor, and NBC News Special Correspondent Meredith Vieira, tonight starting at 7:30.   But they won't be the most famous faces to participate.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II TO OFFICIALLY OPEN THE GAMES: The Games of the XXX Olympiad will begin with royal fanfare as London, the first city to host the Olympics three times, has Queen Elizabeth II officially opens the Games. Other members of the Royal Family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, are scheduled to attend.

  • Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney has announced that he will perform;
  • First Lady Michelle Obama will lead the official U.S. delegation;
  • British filmmaker Danny Boyle is the chief director of the Opening Ceremony. He is best known internationally for the film Slumdog Millionaire, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and earned Boyle the Oscar for Best Director, in 2008;
  • A cast of more than 15,000 will take part in the spectacle.
Parade of Nations: The 2012 London Olympics will welcome more than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries, plus one group of athletes who will march under the Olympic flag as “Independent Olympic Athletes.” These are athletes whose countries don’t have National Olympic Committees (NOCs) – South Sudan, a new country with no NOC, and athletes from Netherlands Antilles, which no longer has its own NOC.

In the Parade of Nations, the teams will enter the Olympic Stadium in London in alphabetical order. According to Olympic tradition, Greece marches first and the host nation, Great Britain, enters last. Team USA will be number 195. NBC’s broadcast of the Opening Ceremony will include every country’s delegation during the Parade of Nations.

Costas and Lauer anchored the Opening Ceremony together at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. Olympic primetime correspondent Ryan Seacrest and NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw will contribute interviews and reports.   This is Costas' 10th stint as Olympics primetime host and Lauer's 9th.

NBC’s opening tease of the London Olympics, which highlights the big stories of the Games and London as the host city, will air during the Opening Ceremony. The tease is voiced by British actors Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, and is produced by the NBC Olympics features unit.

While the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will not be streamed live, will distribute some clips from the Opening Ceremony before the event airs in primetime. The clips will also be promoted across NBC Olympics’ social media partners, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. As previously announced, every Olympic sporting event will be streamed live on
NBCUniversal, presenting its 13th Olympics, the most by any U.S. media company, will make an unprecedented 5,535 hours of the 2012 London Olympics coverage available across NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo,, two specialty channels, and the first-ever 3D platform, an unprecedented level that surpasses the coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics by nearly 2,000 hours.

Other tidbits from NBC:
Cameras: 92 total; NBC has 25 unilateral cameras (including a camera mounted on a blimp) and access to an additional 67 host broadcaster cameras.

Spotters:  More than 20 spotters will be used by NBC to help identify athletes during the Parade of Nations.

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