Sunday, August 12, 2012

Public Readings - Olympics 2012: Closing Ceremony schedule, live online, Sunday, 4 p.m. NBC TV 7 p.m. tape (Eastern Time)

Public Readings - Olympics 2012: Closing Ceremony schedule, live online, Sunday, 4 p.m. NBC TV 7 p.m. tape (Eastern Time).The theme of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games Closing Ceremony, “A Symphony of British Music,” has fueled speculation and a wish list of performers from the last 50 years of the never-ending British Invasion about exactly who will hit the stage on Sunday night.

The good news for American viewers: no matter who performs, they will have a chance to see the Closing Ceremony live online. NBC announced today it had changed plans and will stream Sunday's Olympic closing ceremony live online at 4 p.m. Eastern Time (1 p.m. Pacific Time) on

The ceremony from London will still air on a tape-delayed basis on NBC in prime time at 7 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, which leaves viewers on the West Coast without online access waiting for eight hours.

The opening ceremony was watched by 40.7 million people, more than watched the Grammys and Oscars this year. But NBC took heat for not making the event available to anyone in the U.S. for hours after the fact.

"Going into the opening ceremony, we didn't have a sense for what our ratings would be and what streaming would or wouldn't do to our broadcasts," said NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus. "But we think we've learned enough and have promised to innovate and continually evolve our broadcast coverage."

British heptathlon gold medalist Jessica Ennis will be one of many Olympians ready to party and enjoy the Closing Ceremony on Sunday in London. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

The stream is available to cable and satellite customers who go to the website. You still must sign in and have a cable, satellite, or telco account that qualifies you to have live access.

While the exact details of Sunday’s Closing Ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Games are still under wraps, tips and sightings leaked from the rehearsal location, a former auto plant in East London, are spreading like an Olympic flame.

What is known for sure: music director David Arnold said it will be another “slightly anarchic, slightly mischievous, funny, heart-warming, emotional, inspiring, and uniquely British” production, much like the Opening Ceremony. 

Arnold would only confirm that there are about 20 artists involved, that all are “household names” and many are among the greatest stars of British pop music ever. He said there will be about 30 individual pieces of music.

Details published in The Telegraph newspaper were called “scarily accurate” by Arnold, who wouldn’t confirm any of them.

The British band Muse will perform its song Survival, the official song of the London 2012 Olympics, at the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, August 12.

The newspaper has published a photo of the Spice Girls leaving the rehearsal location. Also seen coming and going are Brian May of Queen, Annie Lennox, the Pet Shop Boys, rapper Tinie Tempah, Jessie J, and Kate Bush. The band Muse has confirmed it will perform the official song of the Olympic Games live for the first time, called “Survival.” Singer George Michael has also confirmed he will perform.

Also seen rehearsing: former Monty Python member Eric Idle, said to sing the comic classic “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life.”

Other names circulating in the rumor mill: The Who, Elton John, Paul Weller, Ray Davies and the Kinks, Adele, Madness, Kaiser Chiefs, One Direction, and Take That.

The popular ska band Madness is rumored to be in the lineup for the Olympics Closing Ceremony on Sunday. Madness played for Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee concert. Photo:

Traditional segments will include the march into the stadium of the national flagbearers, followed by all the athletes coming into together, not by nation. This tradition started at the Melbourne Games in 1956.

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will formally handover the Olympic Flag to the mayor of the next host city, Eduardo Paes of Rio de Janeiro. A Brazilian contingent of carnival dancers and rappers will put on a preview show.

The Closing Ceremony will also feature the extinguishing of the Olympic Flame, signaling the end of the Games.

The cast will include 4,100 volunteer performers, including 380 young students from the six east London Host Buroughs.

Fireworks light up the sky over the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. More fireworks are promised for Sunday's Closing Ceremony. AP Photo.

And there will be fireworks, plenty of fireworks. Director Arnold did promise in The Telegraph that it would be the “greatest after-party in the world.”

Plenty of partying will be going on in London outside the Olympic Stadium as well. If you qualify as a VIP, you might be seen at one of these exclusive events:

A party on the 413-foot yacht Octopus owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, docked in east London, one of several parties hosted on luxury yachts

Sponsors Adidas and Omega are hosting invitation-only “pop-up” parties with Brazilian themes to celebrate the Rio 2016 Games.

Puma chose a Jamaican theme for its party at London’s Brick Lane. No surprise: Puma sponsor sprinting star Usain Bolt of Jamaica.

Budweiser brings a decidedly American flavor to its party, expected to draw members of the USA Basketball team along with famous hip-hop artists.

For everyone else who hasn’t got a VIP pass or Kobe Bryant’s cellphone number, you’re invited to the closing-night concert in London’s Hyde Park with Blue, New Order, and The Specials. Not a bad consolation prize.

The Closing Ceremony takes place live at 4 p.m. Eastern Time (1 p.m. Pacific Time) on Sunday, August 12. The start time in London is 9 p.m.

Associated Press contributed to this report.