Olympics Relaxes New Media Rules To Grant Unlimited Photo Use

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has gone some way to avoiding the kind of embarrassing new media reporting restrictions imposed by some sporting events over the last year, allowing accredited sites to run an unlimited number of photos from Beijing this summer. News orgs boycotted Rugby World Cup last year over a limit of 20 photos per match and boycotted a cricket test match to protest a bar on photo re-sales; the NFL, too, introduced draconian rules on web video. But the IOC’s updated rules may avert a similar situation.

Video rules are a little more stringent. Reuters: “‘Bona fide’ news organizations will be allowed to broadcast via the internet all or a portion of news conferences that take place in the media press centre with a time delay of 30 minutes.” Even unaccredited outlets will be allowed to show three minutes of video from Olympic events each day, in 60-second chunks – but only in Australia, thanks to an unusual rights deal with Aussie TV net 7. Those sites must geoblock content so only those Down Under can view; 7 has, in turn, licensed its Yahoo/7 JV and SBS to run the same videos.

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Geoff McQueen

There's something pretty ironic about this as an Aussie.. for months I've been reading articles about all the impressive sanctioned IP-TV solutions out there, almost all of them blocked to viewers from outside the US so that our domestic networks – which tend to operate out of phase by 6 months to the Northern Hemisphere due to ratings periods stopping around Christmas for us – can get a chance to run content out of date shows in 'prime time'…

The irony would be complete if viewers in the US could only watch footage of the August 08 Olympics in Feb 09, and not online at all!

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