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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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

More in Local News

Members of South County Fire practice onboarding and offboarding a hovering Huey helicopter during an interagency disaster response training exercise at Arlington Municipal Airport on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. The crews learned about and practiced safe entry and exit protocols with crew from Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue before begin given a chance to do a live training. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish, King counties train together for region’s next disaster

Dozens of agencies worked with aviators Tuesday to coordinate a response to a simulated earthquake or tsunami.

Police stand along Linden Street next to orange cones marking pullet casings in a crime scene of a police involved shooting on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lake Stevens man identified in Everett manhunt, deadly police shooting

Travis Hammons, 34, was killed by officers following a search for an armed wanted man in a north Everett neighborhood.

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company's new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Lawsuit: Funko misled investors about Arizona move

A shareholder claims Funko’s decision to relocate its distribution center from Everett to Arizona was “disastrous.”

1 stabbed at apartment in Lynnwood

The man, 26, was taken to an Everett hospital with “serious injuries.”

A firefighting helicopter carries a bucket of water from a nearby river to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. Highway 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Red flag fire warning issued west of Cascades

There are “critical fire weather” conditions due to humidity and wind in the Cascades, according to the National Weather Service.

A house fire damaged two homes around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Fire burns 2 homes in Marysville, killing 2 dogs

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire north of Lakewood Crossing early Tuesday, finding two houses engulfed in flames.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Mountlake Terrace eyes one-time projects for $2.4M in federal funds

Staff recommended $750,000 for a new roof and HVAC at the library, $250,000 toward a nonprofit facility in Lynnwood and more.

The Snohomish River turns along the edge of the Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve at Thomas’ Eddy on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
To build a healthier Snohomish River, more log jams

About $2.8M in grants will help engineer log jams, tear down levees and promote salmon restoration at Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve.

Dave "Bronco" Erickson stands next to the pink-and-purple 1991 Subaru Justy hatchback “Pork Chop Express” car that he is seeking to re-home for $500. The car has been on Whidbey Island for years, mainly as yard art. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)
For sale: Whidbey’s fabled ‘Pork Chop Express’ gets great smileage

Asking price is $500 for the 1991 Subaru Justy, a three-cylinder econobox with 65K miles and a transmission as rare as hen’s teeth.

Most Read