Web sites seek more freedom to broadcast Olympics


Associated Press

NEW YORK – Many of the world’s leading media organizations are demanding greater freedom to broadcast the Olympics on the Web following the blanket Internet ban of the Sydney Games.

To protect NBC and others with television rights, Olympic officials prevented Web sites from offering even short audio reports. So while CBS could run highlights on its TV news programs after NBC’s broadcast day ended, the CBS Sportsline Web site could not.

“It’s shortsighted,” said Joe Ferreira, Sportsline’s vice president of programming. “They either don’t understand the Internet or don’t know the Internet is legitimate media.”

Reporters from MSNBC.com and several other Web sites were forced to get media credentials through their parent company. FoxSports.com reporters covered events by buying tickets or watching them on TV.

Olympic organizers even hired a London company to police the Net, fearing online coverage would interfere with broadcast contracts awarded by region. NBC paid $4 billion for exclusive U.S. rights to the Olympics through 2008, including $705 million for the Sydney Games that concluded Sunday.

The ban meant MSNBC.com could not run footage, despite ties with NBC. And NBCOlympics.com, the NBC online joint venture with Quokka Sports, used only still images from television feeds.

The International Olympic Committee rules prompted such major news outlets as the British Broadcasting Corp., which had broadcast rights at home, to stop posting radio bulletins online.

Franklin Servan-Schriber, the IOC’S director of new media, said organizers will likely change Internet policies before the Winter Games in Salt Lake City 16 months from now. He would not elaborate.

For the 2004 Summer Games in Athens and beyond, Servan-Schriber said, broadcast and Internet rights are separate.

For sports fan Gary Gluckman, the restrictions meant he could not see U.S. sprinter Marion Jones win her first gold medal Sept. 23 or watch highlights online because he was working when the games were televised.

“People are expecting nowadays to be able to watch important events on the Internet,” said Gluckman, 30, of Stony Brook, N.Y. “The world is changing, and they have to change with it.”

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

Everett Herald staff gather and talk in the newsroom after layoff announcements on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘This breaks my heart’: Over half of Everett Herald news staff laid off

A dozen journalists were handed walking papers Wednesday, in a wave of layoffs mandated by new owners, Carpenter Media Group.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road on Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Long live the Speedway! Mukilteo’s main drag won’t be renamed

The public shot down the mayor’s idea to change the name: 77% voted ‘No’ in an online survey, with 95% opposed on Facebook.

Motorcyclist dies in crash on East Marine View Drive in Everett

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a motorcycle and a vehicle crashed into each other at the intersection of 11th street and East Marine View Drive.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.