Four billion TV viewers to watch London Olympic ceremonies

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LONDON—More than four billion television viewers are expected to watch the opening and closing ceremonies for next year’s London Olympics, a British minister said Sunday.

Around 20,000 performers are set to take part in the four events, which are expected to net £5 billion ($7.8 billion, 5.8 billion euros) in advertising revenue.

“Four billion people around the world will be absolutely wowed by what they will see by the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies,” said Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt.

“The ceremonies will be the most fantastic advert for everything that is great about our country.”

Slumdog Millionaire film-maker Danny Boyle is in charge of producing the main opening ceremony, although organizers have remained tight-lipped about which star performers will be on show.

Early rumors suggest former Beatle Paul McCartney and pop giants Take That will kick off proceedings.

“The London 2012 opening and closing ceremonies will be four of the biggest moments in TV history,” said Martin Sorrell, head of advertising giant WPP.

“The equivalent advertising value that will deliver for the UK could be up to £5 billion, however with regards to perception of London and the UK and a tourism legacy you could say that they will be priceless,” he added.

The games will take place between July 27 and August 12 next year, with the paralympic games to follow in early September.

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