North America 30 July 2012 NBC cuts London bombings tribute because it is "not tailored to a US audience" Network airs interview with Michael Phelps instead Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up NBC is the American channel which won, for $1.8bn, the rights to broadcast the Olympics in the US. Unfortunately, on the first day, they didn't do a great job of it. The Opening Ceremony included a tribute to the victims of terror; specifically, to the 52 people killed in the London bombings, which happened the day after the Olympics were awarded to the city. With that victory itself happening hot on the heels of the enormous Live 8 gala, it was a hugely emotional week for Londoners, and something which few will forget. To pay tribute to it, Danny Boyle, the director, included a mellow – aurally, if not when it came to choreography – section of the opening ceremony, which was explicitly announced as a memorial, and was, along with the silence for the war dead, a time for reflection. Unless you were watching in the US, where NBC cut away to a pre-recorded interview with swimmer Michael Phelps. Their explanation for doing so? According to USA Today: When asked why NBC didn't show the memorial, NBC spokesman Greg Hughes on Saturday said only that "our programming is tailored for the U.S. audience. It's a tribute to (opening ceremony producer) Danny Boyle that it required so little editing." [emphasis mine] Just imagine if the BBC had cut away from a tribute to 9/11, or even the Aurora shooting. NBC apparently thinks "basic decency" isn't tailored for Americans. Oh, and to add insult to injury, their commentators didn't know who Tim Berners-Lee was. One NBC presenter: We haven't heard of Tim Berners-Lee either. Second NBC presenter: "Google him!" conho.me/PdzBWo #YouCouldNotMakeItUp — Tim Montgomerie (@TimMontgomerie) July 29, 2012 Oh dear, NBC. › How Tory membership has collapsed under Cameron The NBC peacock. Photograph: Getty Images Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter. Subscribe For the latest TV, art, films and book reviews subscribe for just £1 per month!