SBD/Issue 202/Sports Media

New York Minutes: IOC Likely To Move Swim Finals For NBC

Beijing Games Swimming Finals Likely
To Be Moved To Accommodate NBC
The swimming finals at the ’08 Beijing Games are expected to be moved from their “traditional evening [time] slots to the morning to please” NBC, according to Denis Campbell of the London OBSERVER. The BBC is at “the forefront of angry broadcasters trying to get the decision reversed,” and a BBC spokesperson said that it is working with the European Broadcasting Union on the matter. The BBC has asked British Swimming to lobby FINA “to do what it can to block the IOC’s plans,” and it has also asked British IOC members Sir Craig Reedie and Sir Phil Craven “to use their influence.” British Swimming CEO David Sparkes said that the IOC “would be ‘setting a dangerous precedent’ if, as expected, it ratified the decision when it meets next month.” Sparkes: “You are a hostage to fortune if you change it this time because every time the Olympics goes into a time zone that doesn’t suit the American audience you are going to change the whole programme.” A senior BBC exec said that NBC has also asked for track & field, gymnastics and basketball finals to be rescheduled as well, and IOC President Jacques Rogge and senior colleagues are “considering that request too” (London OBSERVER, 7/16).

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IOC, NBC, Media

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