Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Why NBC Tried to Move U.S. to End of Olympic Parade in Rio

  • Plan would have seen ceremony language switched to English
  • NBC pays more for Olympic rights than any other network
Updated on

NBC, the network that paid about $1.2 billion to broadcast the Olympics, is so keen to maximize the audience for Rio 2016’s opening ceremony that it lobbied unsuccessfully to change the spectacle’s official running order.

In the traditional Parade of Nations, teams enter the arena in alphabetical order. A spokesman for Rio 2016 said organizers had considered a request to change the language of the ceremony from Portuguese to English, which would have put the United States’s 555 athletes near the back, giving American audiences a reason to watch the full broadcast. As it is, the team will enter somewhere in the middle, because in Portuguese, the delegation is known as Estados Unidos.