NBC Plays Spoilsport For Trials Multimedia; Will Force Pre-Beijing Takedown

Someone at NBC Sports needs to find that fine balance between managing the network’s expensive Beijing Olympics rights and and making the vise so tight that it turns people off — and they need to find it fast. According to the Sports Business Journal, NBC Sports has developed “aggressive restrictions” for other media’s use of audio and video collected during Olympic trials.

SBJ reports that the credentialing rules from several governing bodies — including swimming, gymanastics and track & field — require a link from all audio and video back to NBC’s Olympics hub. Beyond that, “rules also heavily restrict all forms of multimedia in and around the fields of play, including athlete interviews, and require that all audio and video be removed from media sites by Aug. 7, the day before the start of the Beijing Olympics. Text-based blogging is permitted under the new provisions.” NBC’s response to SBJ: no comment, saying “only that a different set of regulations will be issued in early July governing the use of online audio and video during the Summer Games by those who are not rights holders.”

Link backs are one thing; erasing coverage is another. NBC Sports could wind up looking more totalitarian than its hosts in August. We’ll have more on this …