Friday, October 27, 2006

Olympic Events Conform To Fit U.S. TV Schedules

Prime Time in U.S. Translates to Morning Call in Beijing
That $3.5 billion the International Olympic Committee gets from NBC will buy a lot of alarm clocks.

Swimmers and gymnasts at the 2008 Beijing Olympics will probably want their share.

Heeding a request from its biggest television partner, the International Olympic Committee announced yesterday that swimming and most gymnastics finals would be shifted to the morning in China so they could be shown live in prime time in the United States.

There is a 12-hour time difference between Beijing and New York.

“We’re pleased with the announcement,” Mike McCarley, a spokesman for NBC Sports, said. “It will allow the two most popular Summer Olympic sports in the United States to be seen here mostly live.”

Not so pleased was the contingent from Australia, which is two time zones from China. Swimming is tremendously popular in Australia, and if it is going to be televised live there, it will probably be in the wee hours of the morning.

The Australian coach Alan Thompson said he was not happy because the International Olympic Committee “made the decision for commercial reasons, not for the good of the sport.”


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