NBC Defends Tape Delay as Critics Pile On Opening ceremony needed 'context' of prime-time coverage By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jul 28, 2012 8:42 AM CDT 50 comments Comments Fireworks explode over the stadium at the end of the opening ceremony. (AP Photo/ Ezra Shaw, Pool) (Newser) – London put on quite the spectacle to open the Olympics, though TV viewers in the US had to watch on tape delay. For that, NBC took loads of criticism on Twitter, notes AP television writer David Bauder. So why didn't the network at least live-stream it online? Because it makes more money getting people to tune in during prime time is the easy answer, but the network has a different, official-sounding explanation, as per the LA Times: Opening and closing ceremonies "are complex entertainment spectacles that do not translate well online because they require context, which our award-winning production team will provide for the large prime-time audiences that gather together to watch them." (Which Bryan Bishop at the Verge finds a wee bit insulting to viewer intelligence.) Unfortunately for NBC, the context it provided during the tape-delayed broadcast didn't please all fans either, notes GlobalPost, "with the phrase 'shut up Matt Lauer' taking on a life of its own, as Storify entries show."