Olympic Schedule Caters to US

International broadcasters fume over odd times
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2007 11:42 AM CDT
In the photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a total of 2008 young people form the Olympic rings on the inauguration ceremony of the volunteer recruitment for the soccer tournament of 2008 Olympic...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Some marquee events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics will air live during US prime time, and the schedule is giving international TV execs a scorching case of jet lag. But complaints from outside North America are falling on deaf ears, the Wall Street Journal reports, because money talks: NBC paid $894 million for broadcast rights; Australian TV paid $64 million.

The IOC has never before changed its schedule in this way, and it's a direct result of intense lobbying by NBC. Burned by the timing of events in Seoul and Sydney, the network has pushed for 5 years to avoid another Far East ratings catastrophe. An Australian TV exec calls it "the worst decision by the IOC in recent memory."