SBD/Issue 167/Olympics

London Games Scheduling Will Not Be Dictated By Broadcasters

Coe Says '12 Games Will Be
Scheduled With Athletes In Mind
LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe Friday promised that events for the '12 London Summer Olympics "would be scheduled for the benefit of athletes rather than broadcasters as work began on the timetable for the Games," according to Owen Gibson of the Manchester GUARDIAN. Coe said that he had "received assurances from NBC, which contributes more than half the broadcasting income for the Games, that it would not pressure organisers to move events into US primetime." Coe: "There is no pressure from any of the TV companies, either domestic or host, to alter the schedules." Gibson noted during the Beijing Games swimming and "some gymnastics events were moved to the morning in order to accommodate US viewers," but Coe said that NBC Sports & Olympics Chair Dick Ebersol had "assured him that he would not seek to do the same in London, where the time difference of five hours is less of a problem." Coe said that "delivering a schedule that suited athletes was the 'overriding, abiding consideration.'" Coe said Ebersol "made it very clear that he was entirely happy with following whatever scheduling is appropriate for London. And a five-hour time difference is relatively benign compared with some of the time zones he has dealt with in the past" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 5/16).

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