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YouTube To Get Some Olympic Content

America, UK out of the loop

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Thanks to the International Olympic Committee and YouTube, sports fans in Botswana, Cambodia, and Mongolia – along with 74 other territories – are set to have a better-than-expected August.  The two organizations have paired to air clips of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Timo Lumme, the IOC’s director of Television and Marketing Services, explained in a statement, "The IOC’s priority is to ensure that as many people as possible get to experience the magic of the Olympic Games and the inspirational sporting achievements of the Olympic athletes."  And indeed, it seems like a nice move.

Timo Lumme
 Timo Lumme

Unfortunately, Lumme continued, "The IOC’s Channel . . . will complement the footage offered in these territories by our broadcast partners across all media platforms."  Which means that, in places where the IOC has exclusive digital partners, the new channel is off limits.  Attempt to visit it from the U.S., for example – where NBC bought the rights to everything – and you’ll only see a "this channel is not available" message.

Ah, well.  NBC’s coverage may satisfy most Americans’ appetites, anyway.  Also, this isn’t much of a money-making grab on YouTube’s part; Loretta Chao reports that YouTube will be able to sell advertising to Olympic sponsors, but only 200 million or so people may be allowed to access the clips.

In vaguely related news, the IOC denied having struck a deal with the Chinese government that would limit reporters’ Internet access in Beijing.

YouTube To Get Some Olympic Content
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