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Summer Olympics opening ceremony 2016: Start time, TV schedule and what to expect

The Summer Olympics opening ceremony is almost here, and here's how you can watch.

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The world's eyes will shift to Rio de Janeiro on Friday night, when the 2016 Olympics officially begin with their opening ceremony at city's Maracanã Stadium. That'll be the site of the Olympic cauldron, and it'll be the destination for hundreds of athletes from around the glove who are descending on Rio to participate in the games.

The broadcast will be a little bit weird. The ceremony is slated to start at 8 p.m. local time in Rio, which is an hour ahead of the United States' East Coast. NBC begins its coverage at 7:30 p.m. ET and will air the ceremony at 8 p.m., giving the festivities a one-hour time delay for American viewers.

The growth of social media means lots of people will have already seen much of the ceremony by the time it actually shows up on their TV screens.

NBC's rationale for the time delay, according to NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus, is that the network wants to polish the broadcast to provide "context" for viewers:

"These Opening Ceremonies will be a celebration of Brazilian culture, of Rio, of the pageantry, of the excitement, of the flair that this beautiful nation has," Lazarus said, via USA Today. "We think it's important that we're able to put that in context for the viewer so that it's not just a flash of color."

Rio is a fascinating city. Tons has gone wrong in the preparation for these Games, but the opening ceremony will be a chance for organizers to show off the best Rio and Brazil have to offer. It'll also feature scores of the world's best athletes, including Americans spanning from basketball star Kevin Durant to world-class gymnast Simone Biles.

2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremony coverage

Date: Friday, Aug. 5
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Easter/Central time zones: Use this link at 7:30 p.m. ET
Mountain time zone: Use this link at 6:30 p.m. MT
Pacific time zone: Use this link at 7:30 p.m. PT

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