ESPN Wants U.S. Rights For 2014, 2016 Olympics; Would Air More Live; Tape Delays ‘Not Our Culture’

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imageThe cauldron for the 2008 Olympics is still burning in Beijing and NBC has the next two locked in already but ESPN’s (NYSE: DIS) John Skipper is thinking ahead — and making promises that sound pretty good to people frustrated by the time-delayed broadcasts. Skipper tells Richard Sandomir the Disney sports unit wants the video rights to the 2014 and 2016 Games and would go live more of the time. Skipper was careful to praise NBC for its coverage while disagreeing with the strategy, suggesting that the two are wired differently and that a sports net is a better fit then a primetime-centric broadcaster. Granted, ESPN has a broadcast sibling in ABC but that wouldn’t keep it from airing events live across time zones, for instance. Skipper:

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digital bear

Let the games begin, ba-dum-bump. ESPN would do a much better job than the NBC folks, full stop. The Olympics people were short-sighted in choosing the upfront over rev-share & exposure. These are the people's games not profiteers games.

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