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."