On Sunday, even while the Organising Committee finally managed to get things right and put up a spectacular extravaganza, for millions of television viewers, the effect was marred by Doordarshan's decision to cram in as many commercial breaks as they could.
What we saw was definitely not a “live telecast”. The ad breaks also meant that the video footage being shown with a ‘live’ tag, was running about 15 minutes late by the time the Indian contingent began their march. So while viewers cheered flag-bearer Abhinav Bindra as he led the home side in, spectators at the stadium were listening to Mike Fennell. “I don't think I have ever seen so many commercial breaks during the opening ceremony of an international event,” said a viewer.
Incidentally, Aruna Sharma, DD's director-general, was livid when asked why DD spoiled the effect of the ceremony for TV viewers. Stating that opening ceremonies were major sources of revenue, she added: “Our viewers are getting every single detail from the stadium in the best quality possible. Do not indulge in nit-picking or I will take you to court.” She denied the event was deferred live but admitted that because a commercial lasting 60-90 seconds (approximately) ends with those 90 seconds of telecast being replayed, it led to a delay.