February 8, 2014 / 7:10 PM / 6 years ago

IOC's tolerance message cut from NBC opening ceremony U.S. broadcast

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaks during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 7, 2014. REUTERS/Jung Yeon-Je/Pool

(Reuters) - An anti-discrimination message by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in his Sochi Olympics opening ceremony speech was cut from the NBC prime time broadcast in the United States on Friday, but seen by viewers in other countries.

The omission follows international criticism of a law signed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin last year banning the spread of “gay propaganda” among minors.

“Yes, it is possible, even as competitors, to live together under one roof in harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason,” Bach said during a nearly five-minute segment of his speech not seen by American audiences.

NBC said the speech, recorded hours before the U.S. prime time broadcast, was not edited for content.

“The IOC President’s comments were edited for time, as were other speeches, but his message got across very clearly to viewers,” an NBC spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

NBCUniversal is a unit of Comcast Corp.

Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago, Jennifer Ablan in New York; editing by Gunna Dickson

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