Fireworks light the London sky during the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic… (Wally Sklaij )
The London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony will be streamed live online Sunday by NBC, a shift from the network's initial plans to provide only a tape delay of the broadcast in the U.S.
The decision, announced Saturday, means viewers who have verified their cable, satellite or other subscriptions at NBCOlympics.com may watch the live stream starting at 1 p.m. on the West Coast.
Times sports reporters who have used the live streams to watch other Olympic events caution that you should leave plenty of time to complete the registration process.
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The ceremony — basically a concert for the Olympic athletes — will also be broadcast during prime time Sunday night starting at 9:30 p.m. The acts for the ceremony, titled "A Symphony of British Music," were kept secret, but expectations that the lineup would include such big names as the Spice Girls, the Who, Adele, Ray Davies and Muse, proved largely accurate.
[Updated 6:20 p.m.: Among the perfomers: The Pet Shop Boys, the reunited-for-a-night Spice Girls, Annie Lennox, Davies, Fatboy Slim, singer George Michael, and One Direction. The Who closed the show ith a four-song set.]
Although NBC has taken heat from some for its decision not to stream many of the highest-interest events, the strategy seems to have paid off. In all, more than 210-million Americans have watched a portion of the Games. And even with long delays between the events and the U.S. broadcast, the network attracted an average of about 32-million viewers a night in prime time.
"The Olympics have defied media gravity," Alan Wurtzel, president of research for parent company NBCUniversal, told The Times last week.
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