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The Almighty Buck

Net Faces 10 -Year Olympic Shutout 250

Noel Carroll writes: "The BBC reports that 'Websites will be banned from using or showing video clips of Olympic events for the next decade. The restriction, which is being imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is designed to protect the substantial investments made by national broadcasters who do not want their television and radio audiences undermined by internet coverage.'"
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Net Faces 10 Year Olympic Shutout

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  • I think the what they are trying to accomplish is to keep the investors that they have, i.e. the people who are paying for the right to broadcast the olympic events. If you aren't paying for the right, you can't show it (unless you can prove that you can follow that rule about region). Less and less people are watching the olympics. Certain events still draw large crowds, and that is what the news agencies pander to. Unfortunately, for the events that are not a popular, the one of the ways to find out about it and see some of the action is the web (or stay up really late and hope to catch clips on ESPN). What the IOC should realize is that the web is a good medium for increasing the popularity and viewing of some of these 'less popular' events.

    Eric Gearman
  • The current IOC board needs to go, and people with a billion times more integrity needs to be put in place.
    Sadly, that's no good.

    A billion times zero is still zero.

  • I disagree...there is nothing to stop Internet broadcasts from having advertising on them (clips at the start of RealVideo for example, or even just banner ads). The Olympic advertisers are just running scared from new technology, instead of embracing new ways to make gobbets of cash.

    Hey, sounds an awful lot like the music companies!


  • There is a story...I *really* wish i could think of the name of it.... takes place in the future,in this communist society like place. This guy re-discoveres electricity, but when he takes it to the rulers, they wo'nt accept it because of all the candle makers they will put out of bussiness. They had just gone to candles from torches one hundred years before and don't want to change again so soon.
    The scary part is....things like this happen!
  • What is it about ? The almighty Buck or Freedom Of Speech ?
    Anyway even though I don't follow such events I am quite annoyed by this announce.
    but now, look closer to it :
    how can they ensure it won't be broadcasted on the Internet ?
    No way.
  • Television broadcasting companies are already planning to take over the net as the broadband user base expands. What happens in four years when cablemodem and DSL are everywhere (Not to mention much faster than now.), fiber connections are making inroads to the home, and Microsoft releases new versions of Media Player that won't allow desktop users to fast forward past commercials embedded in video clips (If you think that will not happen, try to skip that FBI warning before a DVD.)?

    This ruling is a joke. It might last until the next winter Olympics, bit in 2004 the Olympics WILL be on the web in video format.
  • All I can say to this is "Thank Bob for the CBC!":)
  • If I recall correctly, the athletes do have to agree to certain terms and conditions in order to participate. This year, that agreement precluded the athletes from selling their own diaries to the media, although apparently the IOC wasn't very strict in enforcing that rule.
  • The broadcasters will have finally caught up with others. Then they'd say, "let the game be on the net too, but our web sites still have the exclusive rights!"

    Let's hope by then the existing net broadcasters would have even better technology, or have already established firm brand names.
  • I think that the cold war stuff does have some factor in the lower ratings, but there are other parts too that just bugged the fsck out of me, and a lot of the other people I knew. First off, all the commercials they had so that they could recoup the billions spent buying the rights to the games bugged me to no extent, the idiotic tape delay they had so that they could fail miserably trying to cram fifty events into three hours. Secondly, the blather of the announcers in some of the sports was just too much. We've got great announcers out there in these fields, why not hire them instead of the yahoos they used. Finally, the fact that they didn't allow any net coverage factored ever so slightly into the lowered numbers.
  • why did you get modded down twice?!?! That clip was painful... funny... but painful.
  • Wait a damned minute.

    Baseball has dozens of corporate tie-ins. Yet I see coverage in the newspaper, on several different TV channels, and on the net.

    Football has many different companies paying rights to plaster their image all over every goddamned thing at the stadium, yet I can still go to sportsline.com and get the updates while I'm at work (fine, sportsline is a part of cbs, then I can go to a different site as well).

    Etc, etc, etc. The point is that these are sports people want to watch, and the internet outlets (along with other media) set out to inform people about them. Then along comes the olympics with its:

    • Stupid events that only the athelets and their families are interested in.
    • The non-existent spirit of the original games (countries compete to see who has the greatest atheletes). These days we have the US vs. Europe, with a couple of other countries thrown in for the sake that even the U.S. or all of Europe can't even find the world's greatest underwater tennis player and pump him/her full of steroids fast enough to grab the gold.
    • The corruption of the people who decide every goddamned thing about the games. Who cares about site-choosing corruption. I would be interested in seeing what goes on when cbs and nbc get together to bribe the officials about TV rights.

    All in all, I care neither way. Let the stupid Olympics crumble. I would be much more interested in watching a World Championship of Track and Field (which is essentially what the original Olympics were about), than see who gets the gold in Shopping, Ping-Pong, Outer Space Street Fighter II Turbo, Water Polo, or MP3 Downloading (whoa, RIAA vs. Olympic committee: I would pay to see that fight).

  • I hardly agree.. The monopoly of (poor) coverage by NBC, infuriating that it was, demonstrates most clearly that the internet is necessary to supply even and unbiased coverage of the olympics. Want to see a gymnastic event by a country other than the most popular? Good luck ever finding it on tv.

    I can draw a parallel with the huge flow of music lovers who are using Napster. The framework of paying $20 for music pressed on a $1 CD was bound to create a backlash for the industry, hence the millions of happy Napster users and the current turmoil. I would love to see the Olympics on the internet if for nothing else than to be able to view what I want to view. Like with Napster (hopefully), everyone can be happy eventually as long as revenues are in the end collected and directed to the appropriate channels. I wouldn't mind seeing an advertising banner while I'm watching the Olympics online if that was what was needed. But leaving the coverage to fat-cat broadcast companies is monopolistic behavior at its worst.

  • Hey, I didn't mean to knock wrestling. I watch wrestling almost every night. They have the "fun" part of entertainment figured out. And I've purchased quite a few pay-per-view wrestling events. But, even as an avid fan, I have to say that "intelligence" is not one of the things that TV wrestling is about. That's one of the prime reasons I like it. It's nice to occassionally shut down your brain and just enjoy something that is purely "fun". The Olympics on the other hand, are not fun at all.

  • "Unless and until you can guarantee your internet signal is only available within your territory, you cannot put video on your website," he said. "We're going to go forward with that and we're going to see how it evolves."
    First I've never actually heard anyone refer to a net 'signal' before in my life. Sounds like he hasn't clue[0] in his head about how the Internet actually works. Although engineering a solution for this seems possible, why would anyone ever want to invest in limiting technologies?? It defeats the entire purpose of the Net.
    He says "We're going forward with that", but he isn't. He's going backwards, back to the days when BBS ruled the earth and Fido still roamed the planet. We may live in a global village, but it has become glaringly obvious that one can not cross the street with information without breaking a slew of local, national, and international laws.
  • Oh no! If this trend keeps up, before long the Internet with be nothing but a bunch of boring scientific research projects, software development groups and device driver downloads!! Oh, NOooo!!!

    People will continute to shop in real stores, spammers will give up and folks will have to go to pubs to socialize. What'll we do, what'll we DO?!?!
  • by pallex ( 126468 )
    I posted here a little while ago, then i couldnt get to the site, now the comment has gone! Gone forever!
  • I agree - in fact, I would be willing to bet $100 bucks that if they actually make this decision, they will change their minds and reverse it within 5 years. In less than 3 years it will be obvious to everyone that it was the wrong thing to do.

    Why? Two related reasons. First: Soon, TV will commonly delivered over IP. The lines between TV and the Internet are going to start blurring. Next generation set top boxes that pull MPEG-2 video straight off IP multicast over DSL and cablemodems are already out there, making money.

    That will enable stage 2: a world where there will be services like Napster for TV - imagine being able to access a gigantic on line library of TV content - watch any episode of X-Files or the Simpsons, whenever you want!

    And it will be legal, but probably not free. For example, I quit watching TV two years ago. I can't stand the ads, and having watch my favorite shows only when the network decides they should be scheduled. Everyone who is used to the web will want TV to be the same - A flat fee for access, and then watch what you want, when you want. (TIVO is a step in the right direction).

    The IOC thinks they will get more money by locking out competition to the current broadcasters. How foolish!

    Soon, the broadcasters with the money will be the ones that provide people with exactly what they want. The world the IOC and the big networks know is going bye-bye.

    Torrey Hoffman (Azog)
  • Hmm.

    The IOC [olympic.org] bans websites from using or showing video clips, the story hits Slashdot and now free-speach advocates are getting crazy shouting that it's an infrigment of their Nature-given right to watch an event which is, by the way, international.

    You know what happens next - kids with video capture cards start recording every bit of Olympic activity they can, "DivX ;-) [divx.ctw.cc]" it and send it out on Napster [napster.com] and Gnutella [wego.com]. Oh, and don't forget those that will create hexadecimal dumps of the movies' content in text and print those on t-shirt with "The IOC can suck my dI0Ck" on the back.

    C'mon, it' s pretty obvious that the IOC has learned a less on from the De-CSS [2600.com] episode and is seeking to improve the rating for a pretty much dying event.

    I can see it already: thousands of kiddies all watching Curling [slc2002.org] just to see what the fuss is all about.

    Not bad, IOC. Not bad.

    [Check out this other Jesus-powered IOC [ioc.org]]

  • The Olympics is not about athletics. I finally realized that when I went to Atlanta in '96 and witnessed the gross over-commercialization first hand. My wife and I shelled out over $200 for a pair of tickets to a SOLD-OUT rhythmic gymnastics event. When we got there, the venue never filled beyond 1/4 full. Apparently, more than 3/4 of all the tickets had been given away to sponsers that either never handed out the tickets or gave them to people that could care less about the sport. When the event started the announcer encouraged everyone to move down and fill in the empty seats. The network did not want their advertisers to think that the event did not draw interest.

    The IOC is about money and power, not athletics. The athletes are exploited and don't even realize it.

    I feel the same way about the ISO and 'open' standards that you have to pay money for, but that's another topic.
  • >The IOC had forecast that 35 million people, or what they call unique users, would use the official website during the games.
    >But with one day to go, the latest estimate is 15 million.
    If only someone were to post the link [olympics.com] on Slashdot! Sadly the article is 2 months old, though, so the time limit has passed.

    >The head of the marketing division and IOC vice president, Dick Pound...
    I see the IOC was wise enough to choose a marketing VP with a safe, ordinary name wherein no-one could possibly find any innuendo. I wonder what his hobbies are?

    >The IOC classifies it as a broadcasting medium...
    Surely that's up to lawmakers. Or does the IOC now have global jurisdiction over copyright law?

    >Part of the problem for the IOC is that the place of the internet has yet to be accurately defined.
    No problem. The Committee can use its new-found legal powers to define the place of the Internet as 23 degrees 4 minutes south, 12 degrees 18 minutes east.

    >There was also pressure for a ban on pictures on the internet from the American broadcaster, NBC...
    Yes, I can see the world's governments banning Olympic coverage. Anything to please the all-important NBC.

    >NBC's controversial decision to show no live pictures and delay its coverage by 18 hours has led to lower viewing figures than expected.
    All-important and wise with it.
    Seriously, it sounds like the IOC intends to suppress fair use of Olympic clips in reviews. They may have the right to exclude unauthorised cameras from their sites, but they can't rewrite the law. Or perhaps Harry Peart was glossing rather heavily over the legal situation.

  • At some level this is nothing new. All professional sporting events in the US are all prefaced by a little statement that any recording or broadcasting of the event without the express written consent of whatever association runs the sport (NFL, NHL, NBA, etc.) is a crime.

    I believe that the right of Fair Use still overrides these messages. If I want to post the latest score or write a review of my experiences at the last baseball game, they don't have a leg to stand on legally. Even if I post screenshots from the broadcast or possibly even short movie excerpts - the copyright laws allow limit reproduction. What they do have in their favour is a large selection of lawyers to send cease-and-desist demands around - does anyone here actually run an opensource sports news site? Have they had any grief?


    Toby Haynes

  • Damn good point. I'd toss all the bullshit ceremonies in favor of making it more legit and offering a chance to a few thousand more athletes.
  • And don't forget how the Christians bombed the Olympic park in Atlanta.

    http://www.fbi.gov/mostwant/topten/fugitives/rud ol ph.htm

    "The Arabs" refers to a race of people. To hold the race accountable for the murders in Munich in 1972 is ignorant and offensive.

  • The Olympics were created to be a goodwill competition between the countries of the world. I think the US created the amateur only rule for it's atheletes. However, in this day and age, everything involving the media networks is about how much money they can make!

  • The Olympic games are nothing more than a two week long commercial anyway. The only true sport left is the race to see who can grab the most market share. The one with the most $$$ when the whistle blows wins. It wouldn't matter to me if the were exclusively broadcast on the net -- I still wouldn't watch. The way I see it, that's less bandwidth being drained away on useless content.

    If there was a true, positive, lasting impact on the world as a result of all the money grabbing, I would reconsider my opinion. But, alas, this isn't the case. The economics just don't trickle down. There are no long-term, well paying jobs created in the cities hosting the games and the licensing arangements are setup to bleed as much out of the fans as possible while providing as much of a tax break as possible to the sponsors (how else can a city win it's bid to host the games) so all that is left when the games are over is one huge mess to clean up. And don't forget to add the fact that every single terrorist orginization out there just drools over the chance to blow something up during a world-wide broadcast event. I just fail to see the positive in it all.

    As the Simpson's so aptly pointed out, look at all the wonderful things the Olympics did for Sarayevo.
  • by jjr ( 6873 )
    OIC is tring to hold on tight to anything the smells like the olympics that they will shot themselves in the foot in the next few years.
  • Yes, the Aussies did a spectacular job. The people were enthusiastic about all the athletes instead of just their own, the logo and celebrations were tasteful yet modern (blasted difficult to pull off nowadays), and the events were fun to watch (unless you were stuck with NBC).

    The organizers, or the IOC, whoever handled marketing and licensing, whored out the Olympic name to anyone who could pony up the cash. Come on, tossing away spectators' own food and drinks after they paid wads of $Aus to see the events just because it didn't have the right label? What a pile of crap. I bet the ancient Greeks are wishing they could come back from Elysium to shove spears through the entire IOC. Quite frankly, I'd like to help them.
  • What's the problem here? They're not suggesting that some national TV coverage is better/more inclusive/less biased than others, are they?

    If that were to be the case (like as born out by the facts) why shoudn't I be able to watch it on the network providing the coverage I require.

    The requisite 2 meter satellite dish and motor I would need to receive Norwegian TV would topple by mobile home, however the Fat Pipe of DSL keeps me rooted to the ground. I know how I'd prefer to receive my programming.

  • help fund athletes from poorer countries

    Hehehe... he said,

    help fund athletes from poorer countries

    Okay, obviously you've been listening to the Olympic folks. They make a big to-do about some of the projects where they throw their nickels and dimes. The large picture is quite different. The IOC has been continuously thinning out the ranks of the athletes; such aid as they give to athletes from poorer countries is simply for PR purposes, to keep those countries from going wholly unrepresented.

    While they've been adding sports, the IOC has cut back events, weight classes, and numbers of participants across the boards, in order to minimize the number of participants in any given sport. When you think about it, it makes sense: the media is only going to cover a little bit of any given sport, and having depth beyond that is expensive and wasteful from a commercial standpoint. One of the other strategies they've used is to require countries to qualify athletes. The problem is, left unchecked these measures would pretty well guarantee that some countries would have no athletes in the games.

    So they make allowances for underrepresented countries, and they run some provisional programs to try to bring the athletes from these countries to the point where they don't look like fools in the Games.

    Naturally, these programs are nice, too, when they're talking to IBM or UPS and trying to get funding. So they make sure that their media partners, during the Olympic year when the IOC and USOC gets 90% of their sponsorship, paint a picture in which the wealth generated by the Olympics is used primarily for charitable causes. Bunk. They've got better uses for their money. And FYI, there were more athletes from poor countries participating in 1976, when each country had a *right* to send a representative in each sport.

    If you force the television networks to compete with the internet

    Now that's an interesting turn of phrase. If you have free speech, you're forcing people to compete. Geez, sounds downright nasty. Perhaps you're right; maybe we should protect the television networks from this brutal use of force by strongly encouraging everyone else to keep their traps shut.

  • The IOC is hosting a conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, to debate the future of sport and new media such as the internet and mobile telephone networks.

    What's that about mobile phones? They're going to police all phone discussions about the Olympics unless the caller can prove that the callee is in the same country??

    Can they do that??

  • People bitch and moan about MS being a monopoly, well methinks they and the IOC have studied together. What in the hell does the IOC do with all that money? Do they help the hosting city build the stadiums and such? Ok, those medals probably do cost a few buck each... But still, that would be a sweet job.

    OpenSource the Olympics! (in case you have not heard ENOUGH about OpenSource)
  • Exactly how do they plan to stop a few million half-way technically literate types who can pull footage from television broadcast and reformat it as video-clips? I can imagine some really draconian nonsense coming down to try to enforce such contracts.

    What is wrong with the media companies? Don't they realize that they could gather coverage of all events live and charge for DVDs of it or better yet for random access rights? If they want to claim monopoly rights to the content then they can at least be bothered to have reasonably full and flexible content. Oh, I forgot, they have a monopoly so they don't have to be reasonable. BAH!
  • "The restriction, which is being imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is designed to protect the substantial investments made by national broadcasters who do not want their television and radio audiences undermined by internet coverage."

    In other words, to secure Bill Costas' job for the next ten years as the official heckler of Olympic athletes. Gee, I wonder how much NBC "funding" the IOC is receiving right now.

  • That the IOC picks a place that won't go over well from a local marketing/gladhandling perspective or that they expect they local gov't to suspend laws just to appease them? I agree that SLC should not change any laws for the event but you have to wonder what the IOC was thinking when they try to put a corporate love-fest in a place where The Official Beer of the Olympics can't be easily purchased, ne'st pa?
  • by Fatal0E ( 230910 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @06:54AM (#583920)
    ...the lack of respect that online media really gets. Maybe respect is a bad choice of words but it's Monday so I'll explain:
    While it is true that online publications are the minority, their contribution to the journalism "scene" seems to be minimized by traditional journalists who are afraid because anyone with just a AOL account (and 2 free megs of hosted space) can get as much attention as the NY Times. Decentralization of content publication is as worrysome to traditional print media as Napster is to the record labels. Anyone else see the parallels between RIAA v Napster and Mattel v That Guy Who Criticized Them On His Web Page? Anyway, The IOC doesn't see any online rags (not counting ABC, CNN, MSNBC and other traditional news franchises) as reputable, established news sources. I just hope in 10 years this conclusion comes back to bite them in the ass... we can all guess at how everything will change by then.

    "Me Ted"
  • I'm sure we'll eventually see region-encoding for websites anyway. Uncensored access to information is too dangerous to last.
  • by kramer ( 19951 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @06:54AM (#583922) Homepage
    From the Olympic Charter:

    The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to
    building a peaceful and better world by educating youth
    through sport practised without discrimination of any
    kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual
    understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity
    and fair play.

    Apparently, discrimination doesn't include websites...
  • >SLC is only 50% mormon.

    The other 50% live in Mesa AZ.

  • I'm not sure I understand.
    If someone sends me an email, and I feel that I need to share it with the world, then YES, I feel morally justified in doing so. Just as I can publish a letter you wrote me, or repeat a conversation you sent me, or (in my country anyway) record a conversation we had in person, even if you don't know about it. Unless terms discussing the fact that this was to be kept private were discussed, you have *NOTHING* to bitch about.

  • Maybe we could pull a 'UTAH' and offer some female companionship to pursuade them otherwise.
  • Germany, Japan... and the US... It'd be dominated by maybe three countries, but suddenly I'm feeling Olympic Battlebots!!! *ahem*
    Lord Omlette
    ICQ# 77863057
  • by alteran ( 70039 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @09:20AM (#583927)
    IOC Announces Merger with ICANN

    Lausanne, Switzerland-- In a move sure to attract attention from both national and international regulators, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) announced plans to merge its governing board with that of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

    The announced merger set off a field of protests from other organizations seeking to offend the largest user base possible, including the MPAA and Microsoft. The RIAA announced plans to either block the merger or join it.

    "This merger would create a virtual Internet monopoly in the rapidly growing field of organizations seeking to disgust their own audience" said Jane Regalia of Microsoft Corporation (MSFT). "This is an area we feel very passionate about-- Microsoft will defend to its utmost the ability to inconvenience and annoy its customers."

    "Oh yeah-- innovate, innovate, innovate," she added.

    Prominant members of both ICANN and IOC were unimpressed with protests against the Internet mega-merger.

    "Look, we're not in the business of looking out for users of the Internet," said Jason Henkleson, Chairman of the ICANN At-large Members Dispowerment subcommittee. "I mean, if we were looking out for everyday Internet citizens, we'd be pretty inept, right?"

    IOC Chairman Juan Antonio Samaranch, speaking from his palatial half-mile yacht modeled after the more modest Queen Elizabeth II, said, "whatever."

    "By the way, you can't print that on the Internet," he added.

  • This article mentioned nothing of enforcement, and I have been speculating that there is nothing they can do to prevent it, aside from stating that it is not allowed. Anyone know anything else on this one?

  • So basically, the Olypics are like the RIAA that didn't cry wolf?

    Well, tough snuff. That's like saying we must ban automobiles, since that will put horse and carriage makers out of business. Or that lightbulbs will ruin the candle industry.

    My heart feels for you.. It really does.

    Ok. So lets be sympathetic for a minute. We currently have a system that *cough* *cough* works. We have mega product producer who pays top dollar for add space. We then have even more-mega-media-maker that buys air-time (and cyphins off coverage to many of the individual ads). A lot of this money gets funnelled into the Olympics, which eventually trickles money down to the non-economic powerhouse countries..... Soooo How did the Greeks do it without TV? Damn, that's a tough one.

  • What I'd like to see when the games come back around is a beowulf cluster of tv tuners plugged on every possible olypic stream in the world, retransmitting it all over the net. We (in the broad sense) need to gather and build something huge, something that blows the 'official' media outlets out of the water, providing live video and commentary, as well as up-to-the-minute stats and rankings, to show the IOC what a foolish decision they've made. I personally don't give a fnarg's ass about the olympics. Hypercommercial clownery that encourages brainwashed high-performance meatheads isn't exactly my interpretation of entertainment, especially when their feats and prowesses have nothing to do with normal human activity and survival. Pole vaulting isn't exactly something you'd do outside the scope of olympic competition. My 2 canadian cents.
  • What do you mean? I know I'm being the devil's advocate here, but look...

    You can't take pictures at the movie theater, or at lots of concerts, or some museums.. the list goes on. IS that the company in charge exercising 'too much control'? No. It's not.

    The olympics is different how? It's not a public exhibition.. they aren't 'outlawing' olympic pictures.. they are simply not giving license for web broadcasters to get the media they need.

    ANd the only reason they can do this is because it's what other broadcasters want. Traditinal media *wants* the olympic viewers.

    And belive me, when they lose enough viewers over the next few years to the net, things will change.
  • by ca1v1n ( 135902 ) <snook AT guanotronic DOT com> on Monday December 04, 2000 @06:54AM (#583944)
    Sure, they have an interest in protecting the broadcasters, but to decide to close for the next 10 years a content delivery system that has been open for less than ten years is an incredibly short-sighted move. To put it plainly, they have no clue what the net will look like in 3, 5, 8 years. Not even this crowd has perfect foresight. Of course, now that they've pledged that, it will probably go into upcoming contracts, and then they'll be bound by it. I think they'll really regret this move.
  • At some level this is nothing new. All professional sporting events in the US are all prefaced by a little statement that any recording or broadcasting of the event without the express written consent of whatever association runs the sport (NFL, NHL, NBA, etc.) is a crime.

    However, at what level does this become news and thus open to the public? Surely it seems inappropriate to forbid posting scores or even showing still images of the athletes. Then at what level does this blur into showing a series of still images?

    Is it possible for criminals to own the legal rights to the recordings of them committing criminal acts? (I reserve judgement on whether a home video of a bunch of MPAA lawyers at work counts as a crime).

    Somehow it is legal to Wal-Mart to film me while I am in the parking lot, and presumably do whatever they want with the film, and yet I can't bring my camcorder into the Olympic games for which I paid a fortue for a ticket and then put it on my website. It is not really that surprising, but at the same time it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Anyway, just another example of the collision of ancient systems of exchange entertaiment as information intersecting with the modern world.

  • If there is justice in the world, the IOC will be held to this in five or six years. The current broadcasting industry world will look so very different, if it's even around anymore at all. Then the IOC can be mired in their own stupidity and die a slow media death without the support of the Internet.

    Unfortunately they'll probably just rescind this directive when they realize where all the ad money has gone in a few years, and embrace the Internet media outlets in true CorporateWhore(tm) style. And it's a real shame.


  • >There is a story...I *really* wish i could think >of the name of it.... takes place in the >future,in this communist society like place

    If you're thinking of

    Walter M. Miller, Jr.: A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)

    It's a religious, not a communist society.
    That might not be the story you're thinking of,
    but it certainly fits.

  • Granted, there has alwasy been opposition to technological shifts. My dad use to say that you'd have to have a man running some one mile in front of your car to warn people.

    But my point was more one of not sitting idle and letting organizations sensor us like this just because they have what sounds like a rational argument. "But poor people could die if we don't give them life-long welfare" almost sounds compelling.. Till you realize the free-rider problem will ultimately make a society full of dependants leaching off the now minority working class.

    Rethinking a bit, it makes sence that at critical passes such as this, it is important to have smooth transition. In the dawn of the automotive age, we had to make allowances for horses. In the dawn of the networked age, we can't simply allow all old-style forms of civilization to go belly up while waiting for the migration.. I guess I do applaud that there was only 10 years applied to the Olympic Moratorium. It could have been an unlimited mandate I guess.

  • Thanks for your defense of NBC, but I'd have to say... If the choices were so hard, why did they make them THEIR choices alone.

    In other words, they took away our rights to watch what we wanted when. They payed a bazillion dollars to have exclusive coverage, so that they were our only [american] choice. They took away the rights of other broadcast stations that could have made different choices, and choose to air at other times, other formats, other events. (There was more than just swimming this year, right?)

    It makes me boil to listen to NBC whine about ratings, money lost, etc, when it was THEM that spent a ton of money. And did a bad job at it. Actually I take that part back...they can do a bad job at it if they want, but let someone else have a chance to make it good!


  • Personally, I was a college/amateur baseball player (though my current job doesn't leave time for that anymore - just softball). I always enjoyed watching the baseball games there - even as a Yankees fan (what a payroll!), I do like the purity of baseball that has been less touched by money (heck, even the Little League WS is getting pretty commercial now). I enjoy seeing athletes compete in a variety of other sports, especially those (such as gymnastics) where the participants do some incredible things (I'm all for a minimum age for that, so we don't have so many anorexic 13 yr olds ruining themsleves, but that's another story). I'm from the USA, and I usually cheer for the US athletes, but I'd rather see good competition than a full US blowout.

    Battlebots would be a neat addition (better than synchonized swimming), but hey, you can't have everything.
  • I agree, it's all about control. The only reason the IOC is doing this is that they don't yet have the means to control Internet broadcasting.

    I promise you, even as we speak, IOC has a team of people working on securing Internet broadcasting rights to whoever pays the most money. Probably before the next Olympics, but definitely before this 10 year ban is up, the IOC will have some announcement about their new, great, exclusive deal with Company X to broadcast all events on the Internet. And all Company X had to do was pony up the money to get it.

    The real question in my mind is, will anyone even care about the Olympics in 10 years? I know I won't: I didn't watch a single even this past summer, and don't plan on doing so ever again.
  • Is that the IOC will *not* grant a license to record (as they do with television) for a net broadcaster, for ANY amount of money. Tha'ts hwat they are saying.

    They'er saying that if some net broadcaster offers them fees like the television companies do, they will NOT hand them out anyway.
  • If you freely hand out your name, you can't bitch about what they do with it. Especially if it's true. You had no reasonable expectation of privacy.

    The person has a right to discuss with anyone and everyone who and what was said.

  • by dbarclay10 ( 70443 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @07:43AM (#583975)
    Well, I hate to say it, but the Olympics were doing just fine before billions of dollars were invested. I mean, honestly, other than a nice flat place, what do you need to run a race?

    Sure, without a directive like this the Olympics would lose a lot of fundings, but big deal! A lot of people have lost sight of what the Olympics are supposed to be. Not a spectator event, but a way to bring nations together without war.

    Where else can you get two countries that absolutely hate each other to fight without bloodshed?

    The Olympics provide a much-needed form of release; instead of the people getting all riled up for war and building tanks, they get all riled up for sport and build stadiums.


    Barclay family motto:
    Aut agere aut mori.
    (Either action or death.)
  • by Rader ( 40041 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @07:44AM (#583976) Homepage
    I give an "F" to NBC this year. They made me mad on so many levels, I could actually shoot them.

    First of all, splitting up events and spreading them out is ridiculous. Delaying them 1/2 a day for prime time is ridiculous. Pushing gymnastics till almost midnight, while saying it's prime time is outright mean. Come on, 12 year old girls are suppose to stay up every night till midnight, just to watch their "prime time" event? What a bunch of crap. You can't postpone events half a day (when you can get on the internet and find out who wins live) in the name of prime time, and then spread the crap to midnight.

    What a joke. I hope they take a beating so bad in ratings that it'll go back to the good ol' days. I ****LOVED**** waking up in the middle of the night, or middle of the day, turn the channel to some odd ESPN or even odder channel (many choices), and watch CURLING, or spit ball shooting, or ANYTHING. The event was live (or almost live), fascinating, and much more educational than some stupid heart-to-heart interest story about how someone amputated both legs, and still came back for the 1 mile run. Then you watch the race, and they lose anyway.

    I'd rather watch some person in the stands holding a camcorder, talking in Italian, with a budget of only 5 pesos, than watch NBC spend millions of dollars on making McCrap again.


  • I can understand this; the TV stations have long term contracts with the IOC for a lot of money, and the web is not going to be that profitable for now. The IOC wants to protect the companies that are their main revenue stream.

    However, 10 years is too long. Noone can tell what the media world will look like by then. Traditional TV may already have been replaced by webcasts by then, who knows. If I were them I'd prohibit Olympics video for the next Olympics, and look again after that.

    Note they're only prohibiting video, not other news - they can't do that, of course.

  • Didn't miss 'em either.

    Guess I won't watch the next 5 either.

    Put the Olympics against 'Who wants to be a millionaire', and see who wins....

  • So SLC is now under fire to change their liquor laws for the 2002 games because the LDS's make it mandatory that if you want to drink w/o eating you have to belong to one of those bogus clubs. But bribe taking is ok I guess.
  • by X ( 1235 ) <x@xman.org> on Monday December 04, 2000 @07:51AM (#584001) Homepage Journal
    The Olympics has become a sick distorted representation of what it once was. The money in it, from coporate sponsors has corrupted it's perspective to the point where it's more about promoting sponsors than atheletism (and atheletes).

    I thought maybe the web would fix this to a degree by bypassing much of the sponsorship. Instead, the IOC has made a move which will surely push the Olympics in the direction of irrelevance. Sooner or later the corporate sponsors will see the ratings plunge and react accordingly. More importantly though, this is a powerful demonstration to anyone who might be interested in the Olympics just how central sponsors are to the Olympics.
  • Please notice that there is no "P" in our "Olymic Ool". Unless and until you can guarantee your "P" is only available within your trunks, you cannot put yourself in our Ool. Thank you!

    $ man reality

  • Utterly backwards and out of touch. This would be like the IOC deciding to ban Television news coverage in favor of Radio Broadcast and Newspaper distribution, back in the 50's. It's not right and it's stupid, that means NBC or someone b*tched about it. The tragedy is that the net offers multiple outlets so viewers could be freed of witty Bob Costas repartee and focus on their favorite events.

    IMHO the IOC should just open up the olympics and license web coverage to as many content providers as are willing to pay.


  • The best place to hide, is out in the open, because none would expect to find you there. If you go into a good hiding place, people will search harder and harder until they find you.

    Similarly, when trying to keep people away from doing something, banning them will only make them work harder. Finding someway to let them get what they want easily, though still in some way keeping to your principles, would work better.

    Take for example the movie and music industries. Keeping VHS, recordable CDs, or tapes away from people would never work, so they allow it but use copy protection of some sort. Had they just banned them, they would be used anyway.

    The IOC needs to let people have some things, just offer more to their paying TV advertisers instead of cripling and not adding.

  • by haystor ( 102186 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @07:13AM (#584011)
    Facetious maybe, funny no. The coverage is much worse than being American only. Only a few events are covered

    • Gymnastics and all those perverse variations on it. Basically anything with a subjective scoring system (diving).
    • Event with Americans that are expected to win GOLD
    • Basketball, baseball, and softball

    Personally I think the heart and soul of the Olympics is track and field, but I'm not sure if I've ever watched it. You'd think that they skip straight to the finals of the sprints, and that nobody has to make it through the heats to get there.

    And if you think this ban on the internet is bad, how about this last olympics ban on moving pictures?! The sports highlights would show a picture of the action while a commentator read what happened. They claimed that video could be used after the broadcast, but after watching their broadcast of a US soccer match I wanted to watch the highlights on the same channel and all I got were still pictures!

    Another little issue is that they would not allow athletes to post their diaries online. For those of you that have not followed an obscure sport (I follow cycling in the US), this is the absolute best coverage of an event that you can get. Reading in the athletes own words what they were thinking at that crucial moment is far more informative than listening to some bozo that's covering 150 different sports because his hair looks good.

    The olympics are dead to me.

    PS. How the hell do they get to trademark a name like Olympics, Olympic, Olympiad...etc?!

  • I didn't watch the Olympics this year, though I tried real hard... It sucks when all you get is small clips of the home crowd (USA) and the medal winners for 4 minutes at a time, delayed by however many hours. I used to like watching the competition (usually with the sound down, so I didn't have to listen to the inane announcers), but they made it pretty difficult this year.

    Guess I'll stick to watching "World's Strongest Man" and "Battlebots"...
  • Proposal:
    Let's all send urine samples on the IOC address... they should know what to do with it. Just to let them know that those watching Olympic games on the net are not as much on crack as they are :)

  • Baron de Coubertin (sp?) is spinning in his grave.
  • The current IOC board needs to go, and people with a billion times more integrity needs to be put in place.

    Well, if you're looking for people with more integrity than the IOC, I know just the guy [voter.com] to spearhead the new committee. And if by some stretch he has a job come January, well, he knows someone who might need a job [georgewbush.com] instead...

    Jay (=
  • Oh no! No Pot-Curling. What a shame! The best events will be covered on the internet anyway: IOC bribery and scandle, and 14-yrold drug violations.
  • 1. Have your bribed enough/the right officials?

    Yes: Go to 2.

    No: THINK then go back to 1.

    2. Did you or they get caught?

    Yes: We do not know you and what you have brought to the Olympic movement is disgrace! Get lost!

    No: Excellent! Go to 3.

    3. Will events which use sporting equipment sold by Official Olympic sponsors be featured prominently?

    Yes: Excellent! Go to 4.

    No: No? No!? What are you some kind of alturistic charity nut? Get out of here!

    4. Do you solemnly promise never to call into question who the IOC are and why the public really has no control over this scam?

    Yes: Great! See you in Athens!

    No: Fold this form in half 5 times, add salt, chew and swallow.


  • Based on the ratings that NBC is getting, they may wind up losing money on this deal. You can be sure what when the next contract gets written, it will probably be less in today's dollars.

    Anyway, this winds up being less than a billion per game (there's 4 games between now and then). So say NBC gives up their exclusivity but pays only $250-$500 mln per game, but gets TV exclusive. Then have 100+ web sites, each for a particular event. Low speed feeds (28.8k?) are free, but ad-supported. Higher-speed feeds (DSL/Cable/etc) are low cost. Maybe some sharing agreement between the web sites so you can get multiple feeds for one price or something.

    Would that make up the missing $500mln? You're now looking at each site paying $5 million. 100,000 people paying $50 would do it. Or 1 million people paying $5. Or 2 million people paying $2.50. Make it still $5 to cover equipment cost and other. Would you pay $5.00 to watch all the bobsled events? In their entirety? No crappy special-interest stories, just bobsleding? How about paying $100 to get access to 50 events?
  • by Faulty Dreamer ( 259659 ) <dreamer@NosPaM.faultydreams.org> on Monday December 04, 2000 @07:18AM (#584048) Homepage
    Actually the last Olympics was so completely corporatized that it was totally antithema to the idealism that was at one time what was considered the "Olympic Spirit".

    From the "You can't get in wearing a non-sponsor T-shirt" corporate cops, er security gaurds at the gate, to the "you can't eat that sandwich because it violates McDonalds right to sell you an EggMcMuffin" garbage where they would actually take food from people and throw it away, to this pathetic "ten year ban", the entire concept of the Olympics is completely and totally based on corporate greed. I look for the next Olympics to be so corporate-controlled that there will be no one allowed in unless they are wearing "OFFICIAL" Olympic clothes, and if you aren't you will be forced to purchase them at the gate. And if you wish to watch the Olympics on TV, you will have to purchase the "Olympic" version of some cable converter. Frankly, I hope they do that. It will show them that people aren't "that" interested in the Olympics. It was cool a few years back. But most of us are not going to be willing to go the route of "pay-per-view" Olympics on TV. It just wouldn't be worth it.

    How many people that watched the Olympics just because the shows they normally watch weren't on? I know quite a few that just watched nothing rather than watch the Olympics. It just wasn't "fun" this time around. Corporatized sports are about as much "fun" as the WWF and WCW wrestling are "intelligent". It just isn't made to be that way.

  • Yeah, I miss the good old days of,

    "The scores are 9.6, 9.5, 9.6, and a 4.3 from the Russian judge."
  • They've just managed to alienate a certain segment of the population. That segment... including me... didn't bother to watch the Olympics on TV this time around, and probably won't in the future either.

  • I'm sure they do have to sign something. I can understand contracts that deal with "sportsman" like conduct (no drugs, for example), but I can't see how they would exclude a top ranked athlete because said athlete wanted to share his/her experiences with their friends, family, and community.

    So what happens? If someone disagrees with the contract, and refuses to sign, they are not allowed to compete? How can we be sure who the best is, then? Wouldn't that ruin the spirit of the games, that someone didn't compete to stand up for principle?

    Anyhow, it's just sad, sad, sad.

  • When the engages in a conspiracy to break US law, and then acts within the US to break US law, it is in fact a criminal organization and should be punished accordingly.

    Note 1: In a long series of decisions dating back all the way to 1817, the US Supreme Court has held that "fair use" is a Constitutional free speech/free press right.

    Note 2: "Conspiracy" consists in an agreement among parties to violate the law, together with at least one overt act [within the jurisdiction of the law] (but which act need not itself be illegal) in accordance with that agreement. Conspiracy -- even to commit a misdemeanor -- is a felony, as the KKK found out in the '60s.

    Note 3: Acting within the US to deprive US citizens of their Constitutional rights is not a legal act.

    IANAL, but that's how I see it: if the IOC tries this against US web-sites, they should be prosecuted.

  • It seems to me that they're passing up a great opportunity to grab more money. Let's face it, the internet as it stands is not competition for broadcast TV. No one is going to think "hmm, I could turn on my TV and watch the swimming, or I could sit in front of my computer and watch it via 14.4 Real Media!" People will only do this if the event they want to see is not being broadcast, or if they accidentally missed it when it was broadcast.

    I'm sure there's still a few dot-coms out there with venture capital to burn, even in today's economy, who would pay good money for the priviledge of broadcasting the Olympics via the web. It would cut down complaints about the way NBC broadcasts the games (or whoever it is in two years), and it would give even more money to the ridiculously corrupt and wealthy Olympic organizers. It seems like a win for everyone, except of course for the dot-com who wasted millions on exclusive rights to crappy jerky video of the Olympic Games.

  • A lot of people have lost sight of what the Olympics are supposed to be. ... a way to bring nations together without war.

    That role has been taken over by MacDonalds.

  • The olympics is different how? It's not a public exhibition.
    It's not? Maybe that's the problem - it's certainly supposed to be, that's the spirit of the olympics.

    It seems the IOC has become like MLB, or NBA, or NFL. As far as I'm concerned, the IOC should decide where the olympics are, and set the rules and regulations for the events. Oh yeah, they can choose a ridiculous mascot, too. Anybody remember Izzy? Good lord. They have no business saying who can and can't broadcast anything, I don't see how it's their business at all.

    The olympics are supposed to foster friendly competition, togetherness of people from different countries and backgrounds, and allow athletes to fulfil their dreams of being considered the best of the best in their field - to make someone who would otherwise be nobody become a star. The single most touching moment of this years olympics were the closing ceremonies, where all the atletes, no matter where they were from, were allowed to party together in one big celebration, instead of standing in lines by country. That was a decision by the host city. How does the IOC foster this atmosphere? How does limiting broadcast rights, for example, help the athletes? All it does is usually prevent the athletes friends, family, and community from being able to see them, for 90% of the events. With internet broadcasting, it wouldn't have to be that way.

    What does the IOC do with all that money, anyway? I can't see how this non-profit organization can reasonably expect that sort of income. The people who need the most money are the host cities, and the respective governments of those cities should be able to pay before submitting their cities for consideration. I don't see why the IOC needs much money at all, except to pay the members salaries. Ridiculous.

  • by Raymond Luxury Yacht ( 112037 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @07:10AM (#584078) Homepage
    It now reads:
    The goal of the Olympic Movement is to make money, buttloads of money. So much money that we won't actually need to put the squeeze on cities who want to host the Olympics, though it won't stop us from doing it anyway. We want to roll around in 50's and 100's and put rolled up 20's in our ears and nose!
    We want to educate youth that there is nothing better than money. As a matter of fact, we just like to say that word. Money. Money. Moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoney. We will not discriminate as long as you pay up and play by our totalitarian rules, and if you are an athlete you have no rights whatsoever. If we say smile for the camera, you better smile Buck'o!

  • This isn't really anything new. The IOC has made many outlandish decisions in the past and will continue to in future.

    The ones I feel sorry for are the athletes that spend years training and competing just to get their 10 minutes of fame. After the Olympics are over they sponsor some TV adds and quickly fall out of the spotlight due to lack of coverage. Will CNN continue to pass the torch or will they bury it if it doesn't get ratings? If it doesn't rate it doesn't skate!

    This all comes back to the IP issues. Who owns your thoughts, your best times, your face in the spotlight. The IOC is basically saying they own the athletes and you're not going to see them unless we get money.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @07:12AM (#584083)
    > $3,500,000,000...
    but all the poor countries won't be able to and the games will become that much more adulterated without funding.

    A more interesting figure would be the breakdown on how much of that wad of bills went into the pockets of corrupt IOC officials, corrupt officials in the poor companies supposedly being supported, etc.

    You have been following the news about how the IOC operates, I suppose?

    Now, if I discover that the IOC is using the money to feed the starving and educate the ignorant, I'd be as apologetic as I would be surprised. But from what has come to light over the past few years about who they are and how they operate, the risk of surprise would seem to be very slight.

  • Not just the Internet, but the Olympics was also a wasted oportunity for Digital TV. Digital TV, satellite or cable, claims that one of its advantages is that it offers many channels. So why did the broadcasters not take advantage of this and allocate a channel to continuously cover a particular event - both heats and finals. That way viewers who want to follow a particular (maybe minority interest) event can watch all of it and viewers could choose which events to follow rather than only being shown (on a small number of channels) what the editors wish the vieweres to see.
  • > I haven't heard that much except for how the head of the organisation is a bit of a crackpot. Could you post some links please?

    Start here. [google.com]

  • If I were determined to netcast it anyway there would be very little they could do to stop me.

    For example, I could obtain servers in nations that don't care what the olympic committee says or have lax copyright laws, then upload the information direct from TV broadcasts off satellite or from broadcast TV, using VPN to mask content of the stream, with other content obfuscation techniques.

    There are literally dozens of ways to circumvent and content restriction. Also, facts are not copyrightable in the USA, reporting of them is no violation of any law in the USA, so internet reporting of events (not actually streaming audio/video) can not be effectively stopped.

    This is just more evidence that the Olympics has nothing to do with amature competition and everything to do with selling tickets to a human circus. The broadcasters being the primary ticket buyers that P.T. Barnum spoke of in his "suckers" comment.

    Visit DC2600 [dc2600.com]
  • by rknop ( 240417 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @07:22AM (#584089) Homepage

    From earlier this century...

    Lawmakers today passed a law prohibiting the use of automobiles, those recently invented "horseless carriages" which allow convenient travel overland, within city limits. While recognizing their unparalleled utility for travel between communities, lawmakers passed this law in order to protect the investments of buggy whip manufacturers. "Buggy whip manufacturers are an important sector of our economy," one congressman was quoted as saying. "It is essential and fair that we protect the investment and business of those corporations by limiting this technology which stands to undermine their very business, and, hence, our very way of life."


  • I think the olympic commitee is just a bunch of whores and they enflame me to no end.

    Um, y'know, they have a cream or a shot or something for that now...

    Jay (=
  • by Aix ( 218662 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @06:48AM (#584096) Homepage
    The simple fact is that the only way the Olympics gets funded is by these sponsors and by television money paid because the advertising is so lucrative. If you force the television networks to compete with the internet, you are going to create a competitive market that results in less money to support the games. The games are already dominated by the rich and fat countries - allowing Internet broadcasts would make it even worse as the IOC could not afford to help fund athletes from poorer countries.
  • by BrK ( 39585 )
    In 10 years, the Olympics may find that trying to squeeze out the last dollar has put them behind re-runs of Silver Spoons in terms of viewership and popularity.

    As we all know, the Internet is the ideal media upon which to broadcast or publish Olympic data. So it is only fitting that they would choose to ignore the Internet as a valid media outlet.
  • by coats ( 1068 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @08:29AM (#584109) Homepage
    In the US, the Constitution provides that "intellectual property" is a synthetic (artificial, "invented") monopoly that exists as law only subject to the constraints of the Supreme Law of the Land, the Constitution. In particular, in the original Supreme Court cases that established the "fair use doctrine", the Court said that copyright law can not be so strong that it supresses freedom of speech nor freedom of the press.

    IANAL, but if I read the BBC's coverage correctly, that is exactly what the IOC is attempting to do. They are "engaging in an agreement to violate [US] law, together with at least one overt act toward that end" -- the definition of conspiracy. And conspiracy is a felony. So if they continue with such action against any US website, the individuals involved should be prosecuted and (when found guilty) jailed, and the corporation either fined or broken up, and in any case not allowed to engage in any business in the US.

  • Why couldn't I attend an event (rowing!) and use my digital camera with 6 GB of disk do make mpegs of the event to slap on the distributed web.
    Why couldn't you?

    I guess the IOC would sue you because they had contracts with broadcasters that were now being deprived of advertising revenue. They'd probably win, too, even though I don't understand how it's their right to sell that broadcast...

    I wonder, do all the athletes have to sign a contract with the IOC, like they have to with MLB, NBA, and NFL? If not, how do they have legal rights to control footage of an athlete doing his/her thing? And if so, I think all countries should protest. It certainly wouldn't cast the U.S., for example, in a bad light (unlike other things we do) to ask for an international formation of a new Olympic committee that would be subsidized by countries and accept no fees and not require restrictions be placed on athletes - and broadcasting and relaying of coverage would be free so that all the people of the world could watch, free from human interest storys. Maybe broadcast access to events could be decided by lottery, or something, selecting the maximum number of broadcasters a venue would allow.

    Money has no place in the Olympics.

  • It is not that the Internet doesn't get respect, it gets too much respect for its current state. The fact is that companies are worried that people will be able to basically watch television on their computers and thus bypass traditional television. However, the problem is that the internet can't handle that right now. There isn't enough bandwidth for home users to all watch anything as high quality as television all the time. The fact that most home users still use dial-up (and home users are going to be the big entertainment consumers) keeps websites with lots of flash (literally Flash, but heavy multi-media) from being commercially viable. The web is in a transition state. Everyone realizes the potential power of streaming multimedia, but at the same time no one has been able to make a profitable go at it.

    One last thing is that there will always be ways to market goods. So what is people transmit on their webpages images of a sporting event. Someone had to put up a video camera in the first place, and they should get money from all the companies whose signs line the stadium. I am told that Australian football games are shown superimposed on giant logos on the field. This will happen sooner or later, much like the New Years broadcasts. Hell, maybe even the pattern on the tie of the nightly news anchor will turn into little Coca-Cola logos.

    Anyway, all I am saying is that the web is in a transitional period as people actually give it too much respect and fear as they try to figure out what it is possible of doing. And what they don't realize is that television, radio, etc is all becoming part of the internet (literally true if you have digital cable, broadband phone service, and a cable modem). As you say, all the major networks show video clips.

  • by deacent ( 32502 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @07:25AM (#584122)

    The simple fact is that the only way the Olympics gets funded is by these sponsors and by television money paid because the advertising is so lucrative. If you force the television networks to compete with the internet, you are going to create a competitive market that results in less money to support the games. The games are already dominated by the rich and fat countries - allowing Internet broadcasts would make it even worse as the IOC could not afford to help fund athletes from poorer countries.

    That doesn't follow in my mind. Is it impossible that some Internet company might have the funds to compete with the traditional networks? That can only drive up the price. OTOH, the thought of MSN Olympics kind of puts me off.

    Food for thought: It could be an issue of control. IOC has legitimate reason to be afraid of losing control of what's shown and when, since content can be quickly and easily uploaded, redistributed, and repurposed. At that point, broadcasting rights have little meaning. Streaming could probably help to deal with that though.


  • by clinko ( 232501 ) on Monday December 04, 2000 @06:49AM (#584124) Journal
    The net is perfect for an event like the olympics.

    I could just see broadcast company:

    "Gee lets see, there's multiple events going on at the same time and there's 1 station broadcasting it. How can we fix this?...

    I don't know, but let's definitely not use the internet. People might figure out that there is more than the USA in the olympics. Internet Bad, USA good."

  • is that I was really looking forward to seeing a .mov of that poor gymnast who just completely missed the horse on her vault and just kept flipping and flipping.... now i've gotta wait ten years for someone to legally make it available.

  • They've just managed to alienate a certain segment of the population. That segment... including me... didn't bother to watch the Olympics on TV this time around, and probably won't in the future either.
    And as long as NBC is showing some human interest crap about how hard a stuggle it was for joe-blow to overcome his fear of tires and become a gold medal cyclist when I could be watching the Brazillian soccer team, neither will I.
  • by Peaker ( 72084 ) <gnupeaker&yahoo,com> on Monday December 04, 2000 @06:51AM (#584134) Homepage
    The FBC reports that "Free operating systems will be banned from being used or shown on personal computers for the next decade. The restriction, which is being imposed by Microsoft (MS), is designed to protect the substantial investments made by national software companies who do not want their software markets undermined by free software.

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.