NBC cuts ceremonies to air new show

NBC opted to break up its coverage of the Vancouver Olympics closing ceremonies Sunday night, to squeeze in a new reality show.

VANCOUVER — NBC opted to break up its coverage of the Vancouver Olympics closing ceremonies Sunday night, to squeeze in a new reality show.

The finale to the Games at B.C. Place kicked off at 8:30 p.m. Ontario time and wrapped up around 11 p.m.

NBC, the U.S. host broadcaster for the Games, scheduled coverage from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., then switched to the debut of The Marriage Ref, produced by Jerry Seinfeld.

Local news followed, with a return to the coverage at 11:35 p.m.

“Apparently the closing ceremony is no longer being shown on NBC or its sister channels. Here’s what you’re missing,” blogged the New York Times at 10:43.

“The ceremony has morphed into an all-star rock concert, with the athletes, most of them wearing foam moose antlers, invited to descend onto the stage and sway to Canada’s best-known entertainers,” it continued, detailing the musical show unfolding live on Canadian TV.

At attempt to reach NBC for comment was not immediately successful.

An Associated Press story reviewing the coverage called the decision “spectacularly wrongheaded.”

“Those enjoying the festivities were told to come back in an hour — at 11:30 p.m. on a night before work or school — for the conclusion. Incredible that NBC would wrap a show it has high hopes for, and one of its biggest stars, in ill will.”

The decision also drew angry comment on Twitter.

“Did anyone else watch the closing ceremonies on NBC think that it ended REALLY abruptly?” wondered RMCenta “Did NBC just cut away from it?”