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Did NBC re-arrange Olympic 'parade of nations' in the opening ceremony for ratings?

August 10, 2008 |  1:22 pm

the united states olympic team as they marched into the Bird's Nest during the opening ceremonies

Most viewers saw a parade on Friday night during NBC's broadcast of the 2008 Beijing Games Opening Ceremony.

But some conspiracy theorists saw a grassy knoll.

A poster at slashdot jumpstarted conversation by wondering if NBC edited the tapes of the 2008 Beijing Games Opening Ceremony before broadcasting the affair Friday night in the U.S.

The supposed goal? Putting the U.S. team at the end of the line in order to keep sleepy Americans in front of the tube.

Didn't happen, according to the network.

"We showed them in the order they marched," a spokesman said. "They didn't march in alphabetical order, but rather in the order of the Chinese alphabet, based on the strokes in the symbols."

Here is a .pdf of the Olympic parade order that the International Olympic Committee released on Aug. 8. According to the IOC press office, it lists the flagbearers "in order of entry into the stadium."

Did the IOC list match up with the actual presentation on NBC? Rev up the DVRs and report back on what you find out.

— Greg Johnson

Photo of the U.S. Olympic team as they marched into the Bird's Nest during the opening ceremonies by Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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