NEW YORK - Olympics fans hoping that a Games in the Americas would persuade NBC to finally broadcast the Opening Ceremony live have been left disappointed again.

Even though Rio de Janeiro's time zone is just one hour ahead of the East Coast of the United States, the much-watched spectacle will be televised and streamed online on a delayed basis starting at 8 p.m. Eastern. The event will actually start at 7 p.m. Eastern, which is 8 p.m. in Rio.

To make matters worse, broadcasts in western regions will have staggered start times. Coverage in the Mountain time zone starts at 7 p.m. local (9 p.m. Eastern), and coverage in the Pacific time zone starts at 8 p.m. local (11 p.m. Eastern). Coverage in the Central time zone starts at 7 p.m. local, the same hour as the Eastern time broadcast window.

NBC hasn't aired an Opening Ceremony live since the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and hasn't aired a summer Opening Ceremony live since 1996 in Atlanta. Fans have complained endlessly since then, and the growth of social media has made recent years' complaints even louder.

Executives from the network were peppered with questions about the decision at an Olympics preview press event NBC held Monday afternoon at the network's Rockefeller Center headquarters. They were all well-prepared for the onslaught.

Indeed, NBC's own people brought the subject up first. During the formal presentation part of the event, Michele Tafoya - the Sunday Night Football sideline reporter who will report on swimming events in Rio - put the question directly to NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus on stage.

"A lot of people want to know, are you going to stream live the opening ceremony?" Tafoya asked.

"Who's been asking that?" Lazarus feigned.

"Uh, my kids," Tafoya replied.

Well, Tafoya's kids are going to be disappointed when they hear the news.

Here's what Lazarus and his fellow NBC executives had to say about what went into the decision.

Mark Lazarus, NBC Sports Group chairman

We are not going to stream the Opening Ceremonies live. Those will be curated and will air one hour after they occur, as will take place with us on NBC broadcast network as well. We think it's important to give the context to the show. 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. 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. So we will air that on a one-hour delay…

[I responded that the public would, for better or worse, probably suggest cutting out some countries they didn't know anything about.]

Well, that's not fair to those countries, and those people have relatives or people here. It's also not just about the Parade of Nations. There's pageantry and art and other things in it. By doing a short tape-delay of one hour, it allows us to put it in a time period when more people are home to watch, because it is a Friday night and they get out of their commute or home from wherever they are. And it allows us to curate it with the narrative and storytelling of our announcers to explain what's going on. And it allows us to put in commercials without cutting out large chunks of the show…

Jim Bell, NBC Olympics executive producer (who made the official decision to not broadcast the event live)

First of all, it's not a sports competition, it's a ceremony that requires deep levels of understanding all the various camera angles and meanings for the host country, and our commentary laid over it. So our announcers, when the Parade of Nations comes in, [are] talking about the athletes. Plus, again, we talked about prime time being important. It is still when most people can watch. I can't speak for anybody here, but I think that for most people, it's fair to say that after 8 o'clock is a time when most people can watch TV. Six, seven are okay, but still a little bit on the early side...

Gary Zenkel, NBC Olympics president

It's generally one of - if not our highest rated night. So I don't think the audience is that troubled by it not being live. Remember, it's not a sports event. There isn't a result. It's a show, and we think we're serving the audience better by offering that show with a little bit of time to produce it, and when they [viewers] are available. Remember, the Opening Ceremony starts at 7 o'clock east coast time. More people are around to watch later. So why is it not seen as us actually serving the audience? Missing out? Why? They'll see it. It's coming.

John Miller, NBC Olympics chief marketing officer

The Opening Ceremonies, to a large degree, are sort of in two parts. There's a show, and when you see the show and how the show is put together, you want to make sure it's a good show. Then the rest of it is sort of the countries walking in, and the flag coming in, and the torches and the speeches. But when the torch gets lit, is it essential to see that live, or is it essential to see that in context?…

[Aside: You might disagree with that. I might disagree with that. NBC has said it for years, and has long claimed to have stacks of market research to prove it.]

Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager of NBC Sports Digital

We get it. We need context around it. You see sometimes in these host feed videos that there's not that American point of view, there's not this understanding that you may know who this Russian athlete is or this other athlete from a different country. So you need the context. I understand that…

This story has been corrected. A quote that was originally attributed to Jim Bell was actually said by John Miller.