UPDATE: Viewers can watch the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremony by clicking here. NBC has made the entire broadcast available to watch online, though they must sign in through their cable provider.
Viewers looking to watch the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremony online as the games kick off Friday might find a little bit of trouble.
The ceremonies are being held Friday, one day after the games officially kick off, and are expected to attract close to 3 billion viewers worldwide. But given the audience and the need to add a bit of production to the event, NBC opted not to air the ceremony live at 11 am but instead create a primteime event out of it at 7:30 pm.
This decision also means no livestream of the opening opening ceremonies will be available.
There could be a chance that viewers will be able to watch the 2014 Sochi Olympics opening ceremony online if they are willing to wait. NBC will often make programming available the day after it originally airs, but so far the network has made no indication of the opening ceremonies will be posted.
For American viewers, watching the rest of the 2014 Winter Olympics live online is a breeze. NBC has decided to stream every event from Sochi live online at NBCOlympics.com as well as its NBC Sports Live Extra apps for iOS and Android.
The network did the same for its 2012 broadcast of the Summer Olympics in London, and now for the first time viewers will be able to see all the Winter Olympics live online as well.
But that won’t be the case with the opening ceremony. NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said the network decided that delaying the broadcast to the original time would allow NBC to give it more play, and show it to a larger audience.
“We want to put context to it, with the full pageantry it deserves,” he said.
The United Kingdom and Canada offer viewers some further options to watch the 2014 Winter Olympics live online. Both the BBC and the CBC have an extensive slate of live coverage, though this is blocked out to American viewers.
Though Winter Olympics organizers are keeping the exact details of the opening ceremony secret, they have revealed that the show consists of several episodes, each portraying a specific period and aspect of Russian culture. Some of the nation’s biggest points of pride — including classical music, ballet, Russian art and architecture — will be featured prominently.
As Hollywood Life points out, the only way viewers will get to watch the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremony online is to turn to a VPN (virtual private network) service online, grabbing a stream from outside the country (though the legality of this is questionable). Or they could just tune in to NBC at 7:30 pm.