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ESPN's Poynter Project Reviews Company's Coverage Of London Games
Published August 21, 2012
VIDEO RIGHTS HAMPERED EFFORTS: NBC is the American rights holder to Olympic footage, and McBride noted of the “hours and hours of amazing video every day, NBC released only the bare-bones highlights.” NBC also “dictated when the video was available and for how long.” ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer for News Coverage Mike Leber said that part of the problem “was the delay on video rights.” Top 10 Plays are edited around 1:00am ET, but the Olympic video “was not available” until 3:00am ET. That meant when Olympic moments “were included in Top 10 Plays,” as they were when Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won the 100-meter dash, the segment “was re-edited later in the morning.” McBride wrote that practice “should have happened every morning.” McBride: “A lack of video is a much bigger problem on television. We get that. But three to four minutes an hour is just not enough acknowledgement of all the great sporting moments that happened daily in the Olympics. ... If you were just watching ESPN on TV, you might think the Olympics were not that big of a deal in the world of sports, less important, say, than the Little League World Series" (ESPN.com, 8/20).