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Past Olympics Media Coverage

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We've been talking about the Moscow Olympics lately on the ever-popular Ceremonies thread. So why not talk about that here from the broadcast realm, surely that was interesting? As many American Olympic media followers know NBC was planning to broadcast its first Summer Olympics since Tokyo 1964 and overall since Sapporo eight years earlier with around 151 hours of coverage, what was to be America's biggest TV coverage to date after paying $87 million for the rights. To this day, NBC apparently doesn't really like to discuss much of its aborted plans due to the boycott these days after all these years. We know Bryant Gumbel was up to be the main primetime anchor and ceremonies host, something that he eventually get to do with Seoul when NBC reclaimed them and never really looked back. The late Charlie Jones was to be working at Lenin Stadium covering track and field with 1976 Olympic decathlete champ Bruce Jenner and O.J. Simpson (oh, the subsequent tabloid irony of what was to come many years later), who later did it for ABC in LA to likely handle the sprints with Jenner doing the field events. Jones eventually did just that in Seoul, including the infamous 1988 men's 100m final. Frank Shorter would handle the marathon analysis.

Based on what NBC was doing during this time period in its sports department and onward in the 1980s, I can safely assume Dick Enberg and Al McGuire were to cover Olympic basketball because NBC had some NCAA college basketball, including the Final Four back then. Though actually NBC canceled its Olympic coverage plans before naming a primetime host which was supposed to be between Gumbel, Enberg, and NBC Nightly News anchor (and former NBC News Moscow bureau chief) John Chancellor, who surely could provide the news and info about the Soviet Union to the American public. He likely may have joined Gumbel or Enberg covering the ceremonies at Lenin Stadium, if not presented that. Donna de Verona planned to be at the Olympic Complex swimming pool with swimming at nighttime and be among the non-primetime anchors during the daytime before that. She was also to conduct some of that roving reporting during Moscow with Jenner. Don't know what the late Merle Harmon was to cover in Moscow since his background definitely was football. Hmmmm, swimming with de Verona and John Naber? More like Don Criqui's assignment back then at NBC. Cycling? Maybe rowing? I'd say gymnastics. Then again, Enberg would cover that like he did in Seoul. Marv Albert and Dr. Ferdie Pacheco would've been at ringside with NBC had significant boxing coverage back then thanks to Sportsworld. Joel Meyers might have done canoeing and kayaking. Jay Randolph would have to get involved in somewhere. Seamus Malin would deal with, naturally, soccer. Tom Hammond would perhaps tackle diving like in Seoul. As would Jim Simpson in equestrian.

What was interesting in the NBC plans was of the late night segment, where sports that don't get lots of attention by NBC programmers to viewers like team handball, judo, and water polo. The late night segment (10:30pm-12:30am US CST) was to be more light-hearted with a fusion of entertainment with Joe Garagiola bringing the sports with potential hopes of having Hollywood stars who enjoy the Olympics discussing them. David Letterman was to be the major part of this too with everything on tape, connecting all it all.

This is an interesting video from NBC affiliates KTVL and KTVZ showing what Donna de Verona and Joe Garagiola planned to do with NBC's soon-to-be-aborted 150 hours of Moscow Olympics coverage back in January 1980 and their hopes, assuming if the politics weren't going to interfere. Both revealed a general assignment for each along with, interestingly, outtakes of station promo plugging in the end.

Of the 1100 person NBC crew that went to Seoul, 25% of them was originally part of the NBC Moscow 1980 team. The LA Times allows that crew to reflect on what might have been for them just like the athletes feeling shattered and devastated in not going and elated getting a second chance in Seoul, South Korea when NBC regained the US Olympic TV rights unlike many of the 1980 US Olympians. This would be good for now to start with; I'll discuss more on Moscow tomorrow

http://articles.latimes.com/1988-07-17/sports/sp-9755_1_moscow-olympics

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What NBC was planning to cover in abundance in Moscow? Doing educated guesses based on what we know was planned and what came after for NBC and even ABC. Of course, the usual anchor Summer Olympic sports like swimming, track and field, and gymnastics. Basketball would no doubt get plenty of love, as the Americans were the dominant force come Olympic time. Boxing, diving, rowing, volleyball (NBC undoubtably would promote the debut of the US women's team), water polo, cycling, wrestling, canoeing/kayaking, weightlifting, and equestrian all would've earned ample TV time. Soccer would have received a serious boost in US TV with the qualified US (men's) team that was replaced by Cuba showing some of their games along with the final, something that would help soccer's profile and its consistent media exposure in the USA as the NASL was slowly dying thanks to overexpansion and financial incompetence and with the USA not being in the World Cup qualification wilderness for 30 years at that point. With the boycott had NBC stayed committed to air them, all US residents may have gotten was perhaps the semis and definitely the gold medal final. Based on what ABC did in Los Angeles, I'm guessing even modern pentathlon, with the structure that it had back then, would get some decent coverage.

Structural breakdown of daily broadcasting would likely been similar what we have today, albeit much smaller: NBC Today would kickstart things in the mornings as a lead-in with somebody in Moscow. During the daytime/afternoon hours it could have been a couple of hours on weekdays. Primetime undoubtably would be where it's at from 7-11pm US CST with various sports going on to show led by the anchor ones and likely some basketball included and boxing, for example--I'll assume Bryant Gumbel would anchor that. On weekends of course, we'd get them at 6pm. Saturdays and Sundays daytime coverage would go more all out with 5-7 hours each. Late nights woul be what I just mentioned in the last post hosted by David Letterman and Joe Garagiola that would be more lighthearted. Yes, you have to expect some Soviet Union featurettes and news during the ill-fated coverage, likely with John Chancellor guiding us. And, yes, those now-infamous Up Close & Personal puff pieces would dominate. Maybe like with Bob Costas/Meredith Viera/Matt Laurer years in Sochi, Vladimir Poszner would possibly stop by to help educate about the enigmatic Soviet Union to Americans like he did on Meet The Press back in those days. Like with Seoul 8 years later, NBC would've hopscotch along various sports going on giving it several minutes at a time with strong emphasis on the US Olympians and foreigners with strong medal contention. A crown jewel event like the men's and women's 100m may get live coverage with a reairing because it's very quick. Because of the time zone differential and the American TV business structural needs, NBC indeed would go tape-delayed in almost everything with Americans featured largely designated in primetime. Not sure where a sport like field hockey would fit into the mix had the USA qualified in either if not both. If that were the case, a timeslot surely would've been set aside for it, mostly in progress or tape-delayed unless they made it to the medal round. Team handball, archery, fencing, sailing, and shooting, sports with little to no serious US contention/interest, would find itself relegated towards brief highlights/narrative-weaving storylines. Maybe in the late night segments with seeing some action mixed from other sports like with maybe volleyball, weightlifting, and water polo.

NBC cancelled its coverage but sent some people to Moscow, albeit in a reduced and minor capacity to 56 cards at the IBC, videotaping coverage with its own camera for posterity and was restricted to highlights on Today, primetime, and on a concluding highlights show presented by Gumbel (who Baron despises :P ).

Here's a couple of "did you knows?" ABC Nightline, at the time of the Iran US Embassy hostage crisis, aired highlights of the Opening Ceremony and pledged to show daily highlights from the Moscow Olympics to start with, only to later announce that ABC, then THE Olympic network in the USA, can't show any further video footage from those Olympics because NBC still held exclusive US TV rights to showing Moscow 1980 footage. Bummer...

A couple of music ones connected to NBC's Moscow 1980 footage are that Herb Alpert's instrumental "1980" from his 1979 Rise album was slated to be used by NBC as the official score for its Moscow coverage. It is a majestic track and certainly serve NBC really well at the time, though a bit dated now, in an apt way to usher in the 1980s since ABC still held the exclusive rights to Bugler's Dream and John Williams hadn't yet composed the Olympic Fanfare and Theme, Olympic Spirit, Summon The Heroes. "1980" does indeed capture IMO the Olympic majesty, competition, spirit, and pagentry without initionally being it. "1980" did eventually get some broadcast use by NBC Sports when it became the theme music for its 1986 World Cup soccer coverage in Mexico, which aptly had a Mexican touch when the Unites States was still struglling to break through in qualifying...and Canada did for its first and so far only time. But I digress about that.

Also, there was the "We Are One" official NBC Olympic song that was to be used and already recorded for the Moscow Olympics, calling that the USA is one with the team and that all the athletes around the world are unified in the spirit of competition. NBC did eventually use it upon its Seoul 1988 Olympic preview, like on its first commercial break when the athletes arrive at the Seoul International Airport. And later for its Barcelona 1992 promos like this one for world lump jump record holder Mike Powell

But NBC's 150.5 wasn't the largest amount of planned hours covered for Moscow in a boycotting nation. Japan's TV Asahi, not NHK as many would be stunned to know, paid for the exclusive Japanese TV rights to the Moscow 1980 back when it was known as NET (Nippon Educational Television) with plans to broadcast 206 hours with approximately 12 hours daily. Just weeks after it changed its name to TV Asahi in 1980 to reflect its new direction to be a commercial TV network, it drastically reduced its coverage plans from 206 all the way to just 40 hours with 68 cards reserved for their staff in Moscow following the Japanese government's decision to boycott them and deny their athletes a chance. You'll see some Moscow 1980 gymnastics clips on YouTube with some Japanese commentary. That's all from TV Asahi. Gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, track and field, and I think, volleyball were all covered because those are all popular sports to them.

Even West Germany planned to broadcast more TV hours than NBC before it too joined the boycott. Not sure it was going to be co-aired like it is nowdays with ZDF and ARD. That nation, this version of the Federal Republic of Germany, was to have 180 hours in total from Moscow. I'll say solely ARD. After the boycott, coverage was reduced to a paltry 20 hours.

The CBC also abandoned plans to cover the 1980 Moscow Olympics to the cost of $5 million+. CBC President Al Johnson decided to follow suit from the Canadian government in Ottawa after strong public pressure despite no communication between it and the crown corporation with its own boycott, thinking it would be "paradoxical" for the CBC to air a sporting event with very few, if any, Canadian participation and that few at home there would watch. It planned to send a 142-person crew to Moscow and stood to lose a combined $2.4 million in rights fees and facility rentals (C$1.2 million each) to pay back to the Soviets with an additional C$3.8 million advertising revenue loss. CTV planned to show primetime highlights package from Moscow in an arrangment with the CBC that got scuttled and dropped its Olympic coverage plans altogether on the same day the CBC announced it was dropping theirs. Went there anyway with 9 cards representation. CBC's plans for TV coverage in terms of hours was very similiar to NBC's but very likely was to be wall-to-wall live and nonstop me from early morning to the afternoon with maybe its own primetime highlights show, since it was not subject to strong business obligations like south of the border. I'd say no more than around 160 hours originally planned from the CBC.

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A modest return to the BBC/ITV relationship to whet your appetite with with some Moscow. Both were there for Moscow. Didn't know that until. Thought it was entirely BBC. Remember when I mentioned about the BBC doing the OC and releasing footage of it in full? Well in fact, the BBC actually did not show the ceremonies in full, definitely not the OC. See, that got interspersed with the British Open and motor racing as part of the BBC Grandstand that Saturday. The BBC's coverage had largely at least 4 live hours daily in the afternoon to early evening from 3:15-7:35pm (with the Evening News coming briefly in at 5:40) on BBC 1 as BBC Olympic Grandstand. ITV did the primetime coverage. More next week.

Another thing I'll check on Moscow 1980 very soon along with many others was that the Seven Network aired 100 hours of live action from Moscow to Australians after paying A$1 million for the exclusive rights.

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Structural breakdown of daily broadcasting would likely been similar what we have today, albeit much smaller: NBC Today would kickstart things in the mornings as a lead-in with somebody in Moscow. During the daytime/afternoon hours it could have been a couple of hours on weekdays. Primetime undoubtably would be where it's at from 7-11pm US CST with various sports going on to show led by the anchor ones and likely some basketball included and boxing, for example--I'll assume Bryant Gumbel would anchor that. On weekends of course, we'd get them at 6pm. Saturdays and Sundays daytime coverage would go more all out with 5-7 hours each. Late nights woul be what I just mentioned in the last post hosted by David Letterman and Joe Garagiola that would be more lighthearted.

Since the networks used to publish their broadcast schedules months in advance back then, I have a copy of the NBC schedule for the Moscow Games. I believe at least some of the daytime coverage was planned to be live. Here is what NBC had planned (all times Eastern):

Saturday, July 19: 11am-noon, 5-6:30pm, 8-11pm

Sunday, July 20: Noon-12:30pm, 1-6pm, 7-11pm, 11:30pm-1am

Monday, July 21: 11:30am-1:30pm, 4-5pm, 7-11:30pm, Midnight-1:30am

Tuesday, July 22: 11:30am-1:30pm, 4-5pm, 7-11:30pm, Midnight-1:30am

Wednesday, July 23: 11am-3pm, 4-5pm, 7:30-11:30pm, Midnight-1:30am

Thursday, July 24: 11:30am-1:30pm, 4-5pm, 7:30-11:30pm, Midnight-1:30am

Friday, July 25: 11am-3pm, 4-5pm, 7:30-11:30pm, Midnight-1:30am

Saturday, July 26: 12:30-6pm, 7-11:30pm, Midnight-1:30am

Sunday, July 27: 12:30-6pm, 7-11pm, 11:30pm-1am

Monday, July 28: 11am-3pm, 4-5pm, 7:30-11:30pm, Midnight-1:30am

Tuesday, July 29: 11am-3pm, 4-5pm, 7:30-11pm, 11:30pm-1am

Wednesday, July 30: 11am-3pm, 4-5pm, 7:30-11pm, 11:30pm-1am

Thursday, July 31: 11:30am-1:30pm, 4-5pm, 7:30-11pm, 11:30pm-1am

Friday, August 1: 11:30am-1:30pm, 4-5pm, 7:30-11pm, 11:30pm-1am

Saturday, August 2: 11am-Noon, 3-6pm, 8-11pm, 11:30pm-1am

Sunday, August 3: 3-6pm, 7-9pm

Tuesday, August 5: 8-11pm (Olympic Wrap-Up)

Based on what NBC was doing during this time period in its sports department and onward in the 1980s, I can safely assume Dick Enberg and Al McGuire were to cover Olympic basketball because NBC had some NCAA college basketball, including the Final Four back then. Though actually NBC canceled its Olympic coverage plans before naming a primetime host which was supposed to be between Gumbel, Enberg, and NBC Nightly News anchor (and former NBC News Moscow bureau chief) John Chancellor, who surely could provide the news and info about the Soviet Union to the American public. He likely may have joined Gumbel or Enberg covering the ceremonies at Lenin Stadium, if not presented that. Donna de Verona planned to be at the Olympic Complex swimming pool with swimming at nighttime and be among the non-primetime anchors during the daytime before that. She was also to conduct some of that roving reporting during Moscow with Jenner. Don't know what the late Merle Harmon was to cover in Moscow since his background definitely was football. Hmmmm, swimming with de Verona and John Naber? More like Don Criqui's assignment back then at NBC. Cycling? Maybe rowing? I'd say gymnastics. Then again, Enberg would cover that like he did in Seoul. Marv Albert and Dr. Ferdie Pacheco would've been at ringside with NBC had significant boxing coverage back then thanks to Sportsworld. Joel Meyers might have done canoeing and kayaking. Jay Randolph would have to get involved in somewhere. Seamus Malin would deal with, naturally, soccer. Tom Hammond would perhaps tackle diving like in Seoul. As would Jim Simpson in equestrian.

Some of these people were not with NBC in 1980. Tom Hammond didn't start with NBC until 1984. Joel Meyers wasn't with NBC until the late-80s. Jim Simpson left NBC for ESPN in 1979.

Charlie Jones was going to pull double duty in Moscow--gymnastics during week 1 and track during week 2. Rusty Mitchell and Nancy Thies were going to be NBC's expert commentators for gymnastics.

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Thanks for filling out some of the missing pieces for NBC with the info, Barcelona. All I knew was that the late Charlie Jones was going to call track and field at Lenin Stadium, partly because he said so in that Los Angeles Times article and the fact he was doing those sports at Seoul 8 years later. However, after looking at the Moscow schedule of events, Jones would have to hurry back to the Central Sports Palace that was nearby from Lenin Stadium in the last couple of days of gymnastics with track and field just starting. Don't know exactly what times the track and field events would start on those days. But I would presume gymnastics took place in the evening with say within 45 minutes to 2 hours to get there and have everything organized. Also, Diana Nyad was also going to be with NBC in Moscow as a reporter, very likely swimming, with her proficiency in Russian to help her. Then again, as she later did in Los Angeles for ABC, canoeing and kayaking wouldn't be that far away. Also, what was to be done with young Bobby Costas? What role and sports would he have announced? Anybody else do you know that could've worked at NBC back then with the sports? Being the biggest buyer of the Moscow Olympics back then, it would use its own video cameras and equipment more so than many other broadcasters worldwide and use it in conjunction with the host feed.

Surely NBC could've done an Olympic preview in those days. Based on that schedule, I think it may have been on that opening Saturday at the 11am-noon slot if not the previous Friday night. That Saturday night's primetime surely would be the taped delayed Opening Ceremony. Had it been a full-fledged Olympics, some "seemingly insignificant" nations to Americans anyway would no doubt get the short shrift in the Parade of Nations thanks to commercial breaks, especially in a offshore one like in the former Soviet Union. The outcry would not be as bad as it would get later that NBC would make amends later even in glimpses right after commercial breaks ("Why in the hell NBC didn't show Mali in the Parade of Nations?! I wanna see the Malians!"). Also makes you wonder if NBC employed a few of those tactics later used like in Sochi, what parts do you think NBC would omit now that we've seen a fuller Moscow OC and OC?

In any case, it may be rather difficult to figure out what would exactly telecast on those time slots after the swimming, gymnastics, diving, track and field, cycling, boxing, and rowing. In other words, what times exactly would the games involving USA basketball, volleyball, soccer, water polo, and maybe field hockey (if US qualified) based on NBC's programming structure? I do believe basketball would get primetime love with the men and women. Not sure if the gold medal games would be live though. Some things would designated for primetime like perhaps water polo and some volleyball if the USA is involved. Surely there will be some foreign coverage and victories to show, particularly whenever what the Communist bloc would up to in sports to better weave that Cold War Olympic TV narrative. No doubt it would've been very jingoistic with US Olympic TV space at a premium even at a then-record of 150 hours. If some people thought ABC's Los Angeles coverage was bad with it, they probrably would've been aghast with what NBC could've done if it went ahead in Moscow. Don't think we'd have the copyright that we see nowdays during the segments.

As far as I understand it, Australia's Seven Network ultimately decided to go ahead and head out to Moscow around two weeks before the start of the Games with its staff. It paid a then-record A$1.4 million for the exclusive Australian TV rights to cover it live through 100 hours, much of it primetime-late night Australia time before signing off but will have highlights shows during the day. Previously Summer Olympics was shared between ABC, Seven, and Nine where even the Opening Ceremony was shared and, I think, simulcasted, from 5am AEST. Part of the team, if I recall reading correctly, stayed in the Adelaide studios. In Montreal's case, ABC and Seven limited the daily coverage and did the highlights packages several times a day with Nine branched out to handles more of the sports and news coverage with the available video. In a lot of ways, Seven's exclusive coverage of Moscow 1980 marked a new era. For one thing, no more cooperative Australian Olympic TV broadcasting; Aussie TV was fast maturing with color and better programming and presentation qualities and more sophisticated satelittes beaming things quicker and easier to Earth. Plus the Olympics, as we went along during the 1980s, was becoming more lucrative for advertisers and more commercial. It began this bouncing off of Australian Olympic TV rights (both Summer and Winter) that continues to this day, despite during the 1980s of Network Ten becoming "Australia's Olympic Network", a mantle 7 would later carry with great distinction during the next decade and beyond and just since reclaimed. Australia was still reeling from the effects of the fast-rising professionalism and the need for a rethink about its athletes and amateurism as seen with the disappointing Montreal medal display with no golds to show for it. It also brought live continuous Olympics coverage more consistently instead of designated it to primetime or highlights several times a day. Did something that not even the BBC could manage: show both ceremonies in their entirties.

I'm sure with those 100 hours the Seven Network granted priority to the Australian athletes that decided to compete in Moscow. But it was a decimated team that had no field hockey and yachting without a doubt. Even some sponsors for Seven's coverage pulled out because of the fallout of then-PM Malcolm Fraser's boycott threat that the Australian Olympic Federation voted against. Consequently, it may explain why it was set at 100 hours and not more as hoped. But there was surely a lot of jumping around to various sports instead of sticking to just on event if it goes long--and chopping of blocks during the day with daily slots towards daily highlights. I'm sure for example, the Australian basketball and water polo teams didn't enjoy having their full games shown back in Moscow. Sure there was plenty of swimming and track for the Aussies to enjoy. Some events got completely overlooked by Seven because of no Australians or the sports had no to little appeal to them. With a few of its own cameras, it utilized its reliance towards the Soviet/global TV feed, as you surely noticed on the Moscow ceremonies by Balanced Australia.

Seven's Moscow 1980 Olympic coverage was coming to a close with the CC and Seven showed the end of those who took part in Moscow during this coverage and brought them to down under. Also notice that Adidas is their official outfitter for the Seven team in Moscow, just like it was for the Australian Olympic Team then. Gary Wilkinson, Peter Waltham, Sandy Roberts, Peter Landy, and Graham McNaney apparently were commentators without specific portfolios, meaning they covered various Olympics sports that weren't already designated. I am also curious that John Devitt did all the aquatics including diving and water polo. Been mentioned elsewhere online that Bruce McAvaney was involved as a sportscaster for its Moscow coverage. He's not mentioned here. But he was host of the Adelaide end of the telecast, making his Australian Olympic TV debut before heading off to Network Ten Australia and cover its track and field Olympic coverage for much of the 1980s and eventually co-host Ten's Seoul 1988 coverage. If any of you Aussies here in these boards who have more intimate knowledge about of a programming guide of what was shown and at what times daily regarding 7's Moscow 1980 broadcast coverage, please help and your info would be greatly appreciated! :) Hope we get something

New Zealand's Olympic TV coverage was restricted to just two minutes a day during TVNZ's evening news reports, which in NZ's case was just as well since only 3 canoeists (Ian Ferguson, Alan Thompson, and Geoff Walker) and one modern pentathlete (Brian Newth) competed under the black NZOCGA flag as independents dwindled out of a NZ team originally slated for to have 98 athletes. Whatever comprehensive Moscow coverage subsequently came was likely imported from Australia's Seven across the Tasman Sea.

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And like with the American rival TV networks CBS and ABC when reporting, TVNZ likely treated the Moscow Olympics as a news report instead of a sports one with only 4 NZ athletes instead of 99 originally going.

Here's some video that gives us that boycott-impacted NBC Moscow 1980 coverage. Or lack thereof, paired down and restricted to newscasts during the day. With no telecast times or promotion. Stuff shown "as warranted" from a greatly reduced group of 50 recording and broadcasting from there to film and research this for posterity. These are a part of a series that focus on the women's gymnastics recorded edited by the uploader that was largely shown on Today presented by Bryant Gumbel (and interspersed with reports from ABC and local sports news outlets taped in and taped over) along with SportsJournal from NBC Sportsworld. Starring the one and only Nadia (interesting how several outlets pronounced her last name) along with Maxi Gnauck, Nelli Kim, Elena Davydova, and Emilia Eberle. Something that resulted in a very interesting, controversial, and confusing at times with Nadia at the centerpiece. Looking at this now, I'm pretty sure the Ode To Joy music, the Olympics visual graphics (surely far more advanced than what other broadcasters worldwide had at the time--notice lots of them relied on the official graphics with the Russian Cyrillic and then English), and maybe even the Olympic set with Gumbel seated with Bruce Jenner all surely would get used if it actually was a full-fledged broadcast of 152.5 hours. Perhaps even with the Moscow 1980 Olympic Fanfare from the Opening Ceremony. I hope someone on either YouTube or DailyMotion would upload the full NBC Moscow 1980 review program. For many of us Americans, it would have to be when that proposed Olympic Channel comes to frutition and have ample footage from that, unless you were perhaps lucky to see it on Mexico's Televisa or Puerto Rico's Telemundo. Don't know how yet the Canadians dealt with it since they were in the boycott too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9bRap7LJUE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8hGBhjwy9U

South Africa's first televised taste of the Olympic Games came not from 1992 with Barcelona but actually from 1976 when SABC broadcast daily one-hour highlights from the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics on SABC TV at a time back when the nation was banished from the Olympic movement since Rome 1960 because of course of its racist, oppressive, and evil apartheid policies. And it surprisingly got them that never produced by it but paid $25,000 for them despite of that and how very young its TV service was. Very much half a year since SABC launched its TV system back on January 5, 1976, years after many African nations already started theirs. South Africans got them at a time when the National Party leaders relented after being deeply concerned about its power and the potential influence from international perspectives and opinions about SA (they of course weren't flattering). So they had to control it. Maybe Martin Locke handled it since he was the face of SABC Sport back then. On the radio side, Trevor Quirk handled the Olympic news from Montreal. Incidently, following the rise of sub-Saharan African nations gaining power and independence, it was protested against and later officially banned (along with neighboring white-minority Rhodesia) by the IOC, major sports governing bodies, and the Commonwealth after New Zealand's All-Blacks rugby team toured South Africa. Never mind rugby wasn't an Olympic sport back then. After Montreal, South Africa, because of its international pariah status and the IOC banishment and global sanctions, never had the Olympics televised there after that for 16 years and were thus prohibited. Until 1992, when South Africa dismantled those policies and was welcomed back and reconciled into the international fold.

SABC paid $6 million to cover Barcelona on TV1 (or was that TV2?). However, being away from the Olympics for 32 years meant that they had to reacclimate themselves to it and develop its nascent national Olympic coverage as it also learned the lessons of using unilateral facilities enhancing the coverage. SABC was very unsurprisingly inexperienced and "out of it" on the TV broadcasting culture, coinciding with the South Africa's late re-entry for Barcelona approved by the IOC. Thankfully, it got warm, generous, and supportive help from the BBC, CTV, NBC, and TVNZ when they all lent their sportscasters and unilateral camera feeds to augment SABC's first-ever live Olympic TV broadcast coverage of 104 hours (minimum of 96 hours), starting with the Olympic Broadcasters Meeting in Barcelona the previous year. And South Africans, upon noticing the promotion coinciding with the Olympic re-entry, got very excited with anticipation. SABC recorded big ratings on TV1, I remember reading on Variety magazine.

In its first Winter Olympic Games broadcast in 1994 back in Lillehammer, South Africans got 29 hours of coverage from SABC. Highlights with possible full ceremonies. Some of which dealt with the precious few African Winter Olympians competing.

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1980. I was 12 years old, in the middle of summer vacation, no job to worry about. Looking at that broadcast schedule I think it fair to say that I would have watched every second of the coverage. Thanks for nothing Mr Georgia peanut farmer.

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Several other nations saw their Moscow 1980 coverage sharply reduced: We already know here about the CBC's aborted plans with its comparable coverage with that of CTV's during primetime. Japan's TV Asahi, at the time when it acquired the exclusive rights to the Moscow 1980 Olympics was known as NET (National Educational Television, changed name weeks before the start of Moscow 1980 to better reflect a more commercial direction), cut from a planned 206 to just 40 hours. Gymnastics was among those sports shown along with the other anchor sports with both ceremonies during these controversial Moscow Olympics. In fact, there are some Moscow Olympics gymnastics video clips on YouTube with TV Asahi's commentary from Japan. Was shocked that NHK didn't even bother with acquiring them.

West Germany originally aimed for 180 but viewers eventually wound up with just 20 hours. We can presume that both ARD and ZDF were going to share in the coverage. Nor am I certain they did after the fact with a paltry 20 hours to cover. I will have to look into the more German sources online for that. Perhaps they showed them in a few hours daily highlights. France and Great Britain drastically cut theirs too. Will get to the BBC, in this case BBC1, next time.

East Germany's Deutscher Fernsehen managed to broadcast 12 hours daily of Moscow 1980, among the leaders among the Soviet-bloc nations with the Soviet Union. Jugoslavija Radio-televizija (JRT) aired 120 hours in total while TV Polska (TVP) showed 140 hours from Moscow.

The graphics used by NBC during its Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics coverage. Though I do think a few of the material was used by a few other broadcasters worldwide, including the John Williams score and the intro featuring that score. But not much. Pretty innovative in its day like mentioning some of the nuts and bolts of the sports to many untrained Americans:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr71FYJQg8A

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Two page piece about ABC's coverage and technical production plans from 1984 when ABC was rightly counted upon back when it was "America's Olympic TV network" with seven of the previous 9 Summer Olympics broadcasts under its belt and its immense and diverse sports TV experience with several innovations back then that are now standard (and when it simultaneously supplied the worldwide feed to many other nations):

http://library.la84.org/OlympicInformationCenter/OlympicReview/1981/ore167/ORE167t.pdf

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Back in the day, the likes of ABC and NBC would during and before, but surely not limited to, the ceremonies head towards a local newsbreak and commercials, usually for 2-5 minutes. Last time I recall either of them doing a break like this, if I'm right, was in 2000 with NBC when the network cut some of the marching band segment and went back just in time for the Parade of Nations. But it might have done this later with Athens. Don't remember CBS doing this practice with their Albertville/Lillehammer/Nagano ceremonies. Anyways here, ABC Sports, through Frank Gifford, allowed local affiliates to go into their 2-minute newsbreak with, in this case, Birmingham ABC affiliate WBRC TV 6 (now a FOX affiliate) just before the Closing Ceremony back for Los Angeles 1984:

ABC's last Olympic closing credits affectionately read (for some anyway) by Jim McKay from Calgary, Lake Placid, Los Angeles, and Sarajevo all during the 80s. We will never had it conducted this manner ever again after ABC ceeded the broadcasting mostly rights to NBC. LA is my fave in the bunch:

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We're rapidly approaching the latest ESPN 30 For 30 presentation about the enigmatic Soviet ice hockey team and its stars, anchored by the Miracle On Ice loss to the ragtag American college amateur kids, coming next week. With that in mind, I was inspired to write this post for this thread about the oft-chronicled Lake Placid 1980 Miracle On Ice game after reading a portion of Al Michaels' new memoir last Friday at the bookstore. Many of us know now, especially as Americans, that the game between the Soviets and the Americans was on tape delay during ABC's primetime that Friday night in which was already played during the afternoon, kinda giving it a plausible live feel what we now designate for NBC's Olympic tape delayed coverage in future Olympics (and also all the threeUS FTA TV network evening news programs opted not to make known the results until after the airing). By contrast the CBC in Canada showed that game live and there's that YouTube video of that game with that CBC commentary. But here's how the Miracle On Ice game got to be on tape delay. Shows one of the earlier attempts at Olympic rescheduling to accommodate US TV.

Al Michaels says in his book that ABC and its ABC Sports president, the late Roone Alridge, realizing a potential opportunity found in the round robin format,was very interested in having the USA-USSR game moved to US Friday primetime for playing up the obvious Cold War narrative/"enemy combatants" angle and maximize TV viewership from the afternoon, which turned was played as such, with the Sweden-Finland game played that evening. The time rescheduling was permissible at that time under IOC rules. But under one condition: the Soviet Ice Hockey Federation must agree to the suggested change for that night. A meeting with officials from both sides for negotiations that would have USA-USSR and Sweden-Finland games reverse times took place. But the Soviets, perhaps to keep it for late evening Moscow/St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) time, held firm, stonefaced even, in their position to keep in the afternoon. Talks broke down in Lake Placid with no game time change whatsoever.

Also in the upcoming ESPN doc we will hear, for the first time for many Americans to make it more interesting and further enhance the Soviet side of things, Miracle On Ice commentary soundbites from CCCP TV.

Another not-as-well-known call comes from Curt Chapin who called this legendary upset live as a play-by-play man for ABC Radio for its radio coverage. He captured it all on his tape recorder from a camera platform inside the arena and later edited to match the video for YouTube uploading. On the other hand, Chapin's call was accepted as an exhibit by the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Maybe because it's less well-known than Al Michaels though no less passionate

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fztlLwgSFCg

Opening to ABC's Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympics review titled "The Miracle of Lake Placid" with of course references towards that great game

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since i am new to this board, how did NBC handle the 1988 Olympics with the NFL? since most of their regulars would be in seoul

NBC brought in a bunch of veteran football broadcasters such as Curt Gowdy, Al Derogatis, Chuck Thompson, and Ray Scott to fill in the gaps while most of their announcers were in Korea. I believe Len Berman covered the studio show in Bob Costas' absence.

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This seems to be the least unsuitable thread for a mention of a recently-established YouTube channel, OlympicFlame2028.

The channel owner is a Dutch Olympic fan (on Twitter as @OlympicTeacher, aka Gert van der Veen, a primary teacher, gymnastic trainer, and art director of Special Olympic ceremonies) who has, over the past few weeks, posted hundreds of video clips from Olympics back to Beijing, covering sport and some ceremonies. The clips from each event are untitled, but arranged in numbered sequences within the overall video list, oldest first (I think), so once you've found one video from, say, Sochi, all others around it can be explored numerically.

A couple of examples (illustrating Gert's steady hand with a zoom lens):

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i can remember who did some of the events for NBC in Seoul in 88

Charlie Jones on track and field and diving

Don Criqui on swimming

Dick Enberg on gymnastics and basketball and venue host

Marv Albert on boxing

Bob Trumpy on volleyball

Russ Hellickson on wrestling

thats about all i know does anyone remember who did some of the smaller events

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i can remember who did some of the events for NBC in Seoul in 88

Charlie Jones on track and field and diving

Don Criqui on swimming

Dick Enberg on gymnastics and basketball and venue host

Marv Albert on boxing

Bob Trumpy on volleyball

Russ Hellickson on wrestling

thats about all i know does anyone remember who did some of the smaller events

A more complete list of the NBC sportscasters, analysts, and reporters during its Seoul 1988 coverage can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympics_on_NBC_commentators

A nice blast from the past also from 1988 with its own Seoul coverage with a lot of the present day talk with Rio De Janeiro is Brazil's Globo TV, of which it shared with SBT and now-defunct TV Machete back then. This promo for its live coverage of the opening ceremony that Friday on 9:30am Eastern Brazil time that kickstarted its coverage. includes footage from the Asian Games' opening ceremony the previous year and Globo TV's Olympic coverage sponsors Mesbla, Bliss, Samoa, Banco Do Brasil, and Consul.

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what i remember about Seoul was there were a lot of crazy things happening like arlene limas singing the anthem because the tape machine broke down the boxing riots the us gymnastics team getting a deduction and other weird things happening i saw lot of it on NBC and CBC

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Having watched the Seven Network's presentation of the 1992 Barcelona Closing Ceremony last night, we got the added bonus of the credits at the end of Seven's coverage. Some of the names, if you pay any attention to Australian sportscasting over the years like with Olympics, sports down there, and on Seven itself, are familiar to you. if you can provide any filling-ins and/or corrections, please do so:

Richard Aggis

John Alexander--tennis

Brooke Bayvel--reporter, closing ceremony co-host

Val Beddoe

John Bertrand

Neil Brooks--swimming

Ron Casey--boxing

Elizabeth Chetkovich--gymnastics

David Christison--field hockey

Dennis Cometti--swimming

Lisa Forrest--swimming (?)

Lindsay Gaze--basketball

Lucinda Green--equestrian

Lexi Hamilton-Smith--news correspondent

Jeff Harding--boxing

Ian Hyslop--reporter

Craig Johnston--soccer

Peter Landy--rowing

Phil Liggett--cycling

Bruce McAvaney--studio host, track and field, Opening Ceremony host(?)

Graham McNaney--

Peter Meares

Peter Mitchell--studio host

Drew Morphett--cycling, diving

Sandy Roberts--studio host, gymnastics, Closing ceremony co-host

Max Stevens--reporter

John Walker--track and field

Kim Walker--reporter, Seven's Barcelona coverage closer

Pat Welsh

Gary Wilkinson--studio host, Closing Ceremony

Cameron Williams--equestrian

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i still can hear don criqui calling janet eveans winning the gold medal in her races in 88 same thing with charlie jones and florence griffin joyner in 88

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