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ESPN to bid on 2014, 2016 Olympics -- promises no West Coast tape delay

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
August 20, 2008
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It's certainly strange that with several networks, online video, on demand, cellphone and any other way NBC has provided to view the Beijing Olympic Games, U.S. HDTVs had to wait 13 hours to show Usain Bolt make history in the 100m dash -- and another three hours to catch it on PST. For those frustrated by NBC's arrogant mishandling of its broadcast rights, there exists one slim ray of hope (other than living somewhere lucky enough to get Canadian television so you can actually see the events before reading about them in the paper or on NBC's own website), ESPN. That's right, with Brett Favre finally on an NFL roster, the sports giant has apparently found enough free time to consider taking a run at broadcast rights for the 2014 Winter Games and 2016 Summer Games. While we don't yet know where they'll be, if ESPN gets the Games, VP of content John Skipper pinky swore that it would "never" put an event on tape delay, calling it a disservice to sports fans. Our support for this plan goes without saying, and since it's already too late to give them this year's broadcast rights, our only remaining issue is finding out what it takes to get John Skipper on the '08 presidential ballot.

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