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
Olympic Schedule Caters to US
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 Games held in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, Friday, March 23, 2007....   (Associated Press)

(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.

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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." (Read more NBC stories.)

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