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The Red Arrows flies over the stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Olympics on TV: Big spectacle gets under way
Olympics » NBC kicks off its coverage with the Opening Ceremony.
First Published Jul 26 2012 07:31 pm • Last Updated Jul 27 2012 04:44 pm

The Summer Olympics open in London with — what else? — the Opening Ceremony (6:30-11 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5).

London organizers have tried to dampen expectations that they can somehow top the spectacle we saw in Beijing. We know the theme is "Isle of Wonder"; that Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire") and Stephen Daldry ("Billy Elliott") are the creative directors; and that more than a billion people are expected to tune in across the globe.

At a glance

Pierce on TV

Follow Scott D. Pierce’s reports on TV coverage of the Olympics at sltrib.com/blogs/tv; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.

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And NBC’s Bob Costas will, no doubt, have a fun fact to accompany each of the more than 200 nations that are sending athletes to the Games.

Costas is nothing if not smooth, and he’s got more big-time, on-air experience than any other American broadcaster working these Games. After serving as late-night host at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games, he’s been the prime-time host of every Olympics since — Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens, Turin, Beijing and Vancouver.


Here are some figures provided by NBC about how they have these Games covered.

2 » helicopters

50 » multi-channel record and playback machines

115 » TV commentators

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164 » transportation staff

175 » videotape recording machines

191 » vehicles

300 » camera positions

2,000 » pieces of furniture

2,500 » color monitors

5,535 » total hours of NBC Sports Group’s coverage of London Olympics

28,080 » square feet of space at NBCs London venue compounds

30,480 » meters of fiber optic

50,000 » archived video tapes

50,612 » hotel room nights for NBC staffers

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