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Past Olympics Media Coverage


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On 12/27/2020 at 3:24 PM, danderson4500 said:

I still remember in Nanago in 98, watching CBC and I could hear the anger in Brian Williams's voice(the CBC guy) because the snowboarder from Canada was disqualified. I just cant imagine McKay or Gifford during the ABC era being that mad over a decision like that.

Ross Rebagliati.  I remember that very well.  They were extremely outraged over that decision unlike it was eventually reversed.

A lot of people have said over the years that American TV coverage is overly jingoistic.  They don't hold a candle to some of that I witnessed from the Canadians.

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56 minutes ago, Quaker2001 said:

Ross Rebagliati.  I remember that very well.  They were extremely outraged over that decision unlike it was eventually reversed.

A lot of people have said over the years that American TV coverage is overly jingoistic.  They don't hold a candle to some of that I witnessed from the Canadians.

Speaking of, Canadian coverage of Sydney 2000 has an interesting wrinkle. In the middle of the Games, Pierre Trudeau died. I know at least the CBC broke into its coverage with the news and it cast a pall over maybe the last week of the Games.

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13 hours ago, mattperiolat said:

 

Speaking of, Canadian coverage of Sydney 2000 has an interesting wrinkle. In the middle of the Games, Pierre Trudeau died. I know at least the CBC broke into its coverage with the news and it cast a pall over maybe the last week of the Games.

Remember that one as well.  I think it took over most of the programming that night, but after that it was reserved more for news coverage, even though all the anchors in Australia certainly made mention of it the remainder of the Games

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On 12/29/2020 at 10:04 PM, Quaker2001 said:

Ross Rebagliati.  I remember that very well.  They were extremely outraged over that decision unlike it was eventually reversed.

A lot of people have said over the years that American TV coverage is overly jingoistic.  They don't hold a candle to some of that I witnessed from the Canadians.

 

On 12/29/2020 at 11:04 PM, mattperiolat said:

 

Speaking of, Canadian coverage of Sydney 2000 has an interesting wrinkle. In the middle of the Games, Pierre Trudeau died. I know at least the CBC broke into its coverage with the news and it cast a pall over maybe the last week of the Games.

I've always found it fascinating how different nations' coverage of Games could take on such different flavors.  Not to criticize one as being better than the other but the ceremonies stand out to me especially.  Some broadcasts let the pageantry speak for itself while NBC and even CBS before then seem determined to be more explanatory about the context of the presentation or present statistics about the scope of its grandeur.  The Parade of Nations too where other nations' broadcasts are more descriptive of the athletes participating and who has medal opportunities or interesting backstories where as NBC has turned it into a geography/political lesson for the viewer.  Not saying one is better than the other; just always thought it was interesting how the production of the same event is fit to the people viewing it on a country-by-country basis.  Could speak to how each country views the Olympics as an event.

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Another incident involving Canadians.. history generally remembers what happened with Jamie Sale and David Pelletier in 2002 in Salt Lake.  What is not as often remembered is what happened to Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz.  They were the Canadian ice dance pair who finished 4th in Nagano largely due to what was believed to by bloc voting by European judges to prevent the Canadians from winning a medal.  That one rankled Brian Williams and company as well, so it was more less than objective commentary coming from them.  But in many ways completely justified.

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Hello, Quaker... I'm (WinteRings)... 

Please forgive me for posting this here if it doesn't not belong. This is my very first post and I was unable to message you. I have been looking for years to find someone who was as nuts as I was about Olympic Games and recording them to VHS/DVD. I'm strictly a Winter Olympics loon and had near complete recordings of the games from 1998 forward. Unfortunately I lost most of the VHS recordings in moves along the way and when I saw your list of videos in here, I nearly lost my breath. If at all possible, I would love to discuss the opportunity to get copies of some of the complete sets you have. I only have complete sets of Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018 now but would love to relive the sets I lost. I would be willing to pay for any costs incurred - of course. Much thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.

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22 hours ago, Quaker2001 said:

Another incident involving Canadians.. history generally remembers what happened with Jamie Sale and David Pelletier in 2002 in Salt Lake.  What is not as often remembered is what happened to Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz.  They were the Canadian ice dance pair who finished 4th in Nagano largely due to what was believed to by bloc voting by European judges to prevent the Canadians from winning a medal.  That one rankled Brian Williams and company as well, so it was more less than objective commentary coming from them.  But in many ways completely justified.

Being so knowledgeable about previous Olympics, especially from the Canadian perspective, I wonder if you go back as far as 1988 and recall what the Canadian reaction was to the whole Ben Johnson doping scandal in Seoul?

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1 hour ago, JSopko27 said:

Being so knowledgeable about previous Olympics, especially from the Canadian perspective, I wonder if you go back as far as 1988 and recall what the Canadian reaction was to the whole Ben Johnson doping scandal in Seoul?

I'm knowledgeable about 1998 on CBC because I saw it with my own eyes.  No idea how Canadian coverage handled Ben Johnson.  I know NBC dedicated a ton of time to it as it was probably one of the biggest stories of those Olympics.  I know CBC had the Summer Olympics that year after CTV had the Winter Olympics.  According to Wikipedia, Brian Williams was the host, so I can imagine he had a couple of opinions on that one and probably had a few things to say about American sprinters as well

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On 12/27/2020 at 3:24 PM, danderson4500 said:

I still remember in Nanago in 98, watching CBC and I could hear the anger in Brian Williams's voice(the CBC guy) because the snowboarder from Canada was disqualified. I just cant imagine McKay or Gifford during the ABC era being that mad over a decision like that.

I can think of at least one ABC commentator who would not hesitate to vent anger at a judges decision: Dick Button. He always spoke out forcefully whenever he thought someone was scored too low or treated unfairly. That's one thing I always liked about him. He was figure skating's biggest booster, but was never afraid to be harshly critical of it, too. Now he did go overboard a few times. His distraught commentary of Babilonia and Gardner's withdrawl at Lake Placid, was over the top jingoism, for sure, but he was way more fair to non-americans than most American announcers usually are.

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On 1/4/2021 at 12:52 PM, Quaker2001 said:

I'm knowledgeable about 1998 on CBC because I saw it with my own eyes.  No idea how Canadian coverage handled Ben Johnson.  I know NBC dedicated a ton of time to it as it was probably one of the biggest stories of those Olympics.  I know CBC had the Summer Olympics that year after CTV had the Winter Olympics.  According to Wikipedia, Brian Williams was the host, so I can imagine he had a couple of opinions on that one and probably had a few things to say about American sprinters as well

CBC was my choice when it came to hockey during the Olympics. Bob Cole and Harry Neale were so much better than whoever CBS used in 98. They did a pretty good job, given that NHL players were in the Olympics for the first time and they did Hockey Night In Canada

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On 12/29/2020 at 10:04 PM, Quaker2001 said:

Ross Rebagliati.  I remember that very well.  They were extremely outraged over that decision unlike it was eventually reversed.

A lot of people have said over the years that American TV coverage is overly jingoistic.  They don't hold a candle to some of that I witnessed from the Canadians.

I can tell you that from first hand experience. On hockey, Bob Cole and Harry Neale were big Canada homers during their games. So was  Don Cherry.  I remember Don Wittman doing curling too. What i remember about that was, during the anthem after Canada won, he shut up and let the pictures do the talking.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/10/2021 at 12:29 PM, danderson4500 said:

I can tell you that from first hand experience. On hockey, Bob Cole and Harry Neale were big Canada homers during their games. So was  Don Cherry.  I remember Don Wittman doing curling too. What i remember about that was, during the anthem after Canada won, he shut up and let the pictures do the talking.

I'm not in an area close enough to the border to get the CBC coverage but being an NHL fan I could imagine that that crew was over-the-top on their homerism, especially in Vancouver.

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On 1/4/2021 at 12:52 PM, Quaker2001 said:

I'm knowledgeable about 1998 on CBC because I saw it with my own eyes.  No idea how Canadian coverage handled Ben Johnson.  I know NBC dedicated a ton of time to it as it was probably one of the biggest stories of those Olympics.  I know CBC had the Summer Olympics that year after CTV had the Winter Olympics.  According to Wikipedia, Brian Williams was the host, so I can imagine he had a couple of opinions on that one and probably had a few things to say about American sprinters as well

Would it be possible for you to send me a private message; I have a question about some of the Olympics videos you have mentioned in various threads?  I tried sending you a message but it said your account was not accepting them.

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Hi guys, I'm back! :)

Keeping up with the Canadian past Olympic TV coverage theme, and the following is so perfect for this. Just spotted a couple of those CTV Barcelona 1992 15-second promos today that were recently uploaded on Youtube late 2020. Surely there were fuller ones made that has yet to see light of day there as well as some CTV coverage from Barcelona. We like to see them. Both have the Coca-Cola presentation sponsor logo at the end.

First CTV Barcelona 1992 promo: A Canadian teen writes a letter to his parents right at Montjuic Stadium excited over the Barcelona Olympics starting and making lifelong friends from around the world there. Interspersed with past Olympic footage and the sights of Barcelona. Come to think of it, some of this stuff has to come from Spain's Tourist Commission commercials that were played during this time because I recognize those standard air mail envelopes that are involved in them to help promote Barcelona:

 

Next one is entitled "Win With the World" when we random and various Olympic footage from Seoul along other events. Thought I spot Canadian decathlete and Barcelona flagberer Mike Smith throwing the javelin among them as they prepare all those hours for those brief moments of Olympic glory they get like we see with the rowers, weightlifters, and gymnasts:  

 

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On 1/4/2021 at 12:52 PM, Quaker2001 said:

I'm knowledgeable about 1998 on CBC because I saw it with my own eyes.  No idea how Canadian coverage handled Ben Johnson.  I know NBC dedicated a ton of time to it as it was probably one of the biggest stories of those Olympics.  I know CBC had the Summer Olympics that year after CTV had the Winter Olympics.  According to Wikipedia, Brian Williams was the host, so I can imagine he had a couple of opinions on that one and probably had a few things to say about American sprinters as well

I watched CBC and NBC in 8 for sure(I had one of those big dishes then.) Brian Williams did a much better job as host than Bryant Gumbel, who was NBC's prime time host.  To my knowledge, Brian was CBC's regular host then on major events not named Hockey Night In Canada. Can anybody remember who did swimming for CBC? I remember Don Criqui doing it for NBC, but i can't remember who did for CBC, Ted Reynolds?

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A 24-page study from the The Center for Olympic Studies/The Centre d’Estudis Olímpics about how 25 Olympic rights broadcasters from 22 nations around the world in all the populated continents (English/CTV and French/TVA with Canada, Spanish/TVE and Canal Olimpic/Catalan as the multilingual ones in the same nations among them) dealing with how Spain was granted attention, the portrayal of Spain's royal family, passion for Spanish life, regional diverse and high art cultures, how much they deeply recognize of Catalan social structure, symbol, language, politics, and history; and how these same broadcasters presented hosts Barcelona as a modern city associated with Mediterranean culture through the Opening Ceremony. Even with references to the European Union during its landmark 1992 year. Using it, if it all, for their own respective domestic contexts also plays a major part--historically, linguistically, and culturally

For many viewers around the world, thanks to these broadcasters among them, the Barcelona Opening Ceremony was a major and gamechanging introduction to Catalan culture. Certainly was for me at the time as I learned more about it thanks to NBC even with the lead up material over the years after it won the bid back in 1986 and hearing about Barcelona sports like the WLAF/NFL Europe's Barcelona Dragons, FC Barcelona, Jovenut Badalona basketball:

https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/13282846.pdf

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Remember that Moscow 1980 Opening Ceremony highlight clip of Channel 7's Moscow Opening Ceremony shown on TVT (Television Tasmania) I uploaded a few years back? It had its Moscow 1980 intro leading into that. Well, we now actually got the fuller intro to the Seven Network's Moscow 1980 coverage that has lots of footage from Montreal, Australia's first color TV presentation of the Summer Olympics, interspersed with Moscow scenes like Red Square/Kremlin and Lenin Stadium before them. Seven's coverage, judging from the TV guides from back then billed as the Games of the XXII Olympiad and Moscow 1980, was very much a highlights footage presentation with under 100 hours (save for both ceremonies) and definitely not the wall-to-wall footage Seven did afterwards including Ten's and Nine's subsequent presentations:

 

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A Canadian sportscasting legend is retiring after 50 years. Brian Williams hangs up the mic this year after distinguishingly doing so many sports events broadcasted to Canadians with the CBC and CTV/TSN thanks to his engaging, commanding, and fun personality, although he never shied away from asking the hard questions. Since this is a past Olympic broadcasting thread, I'll focus on his Olympic career starting with the CBC's 1976 Summer Olympics coverage in Montreal in its home backyard, when the future Order of Canada recipient covered wrestling. From 1984-2006, Williams was the CBC Olympic Games primetime anchor host before he moved to CTV/TSN and served in that same position with its Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 coverage as the anchor on CTV for the Canadian Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium. Giving both award-winning moments. Even covering the Opening Ceremonies like in the 1980s such as Seoul with Ron MacLean (CTV had the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, and the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer during this span, so he didn't do those). Those very same Olympics in Seoul, he broke the news about Ben Johnson when he tested positive for steroids after he seemed to win the 100m and offered his commentary in what this all means to Canadians. Not to mention his fixation with the time.

Bell Media press release announcing his retirement ahead of this year's Grey Cup in Hamilton:

https://www.bellmedia.ca/the-lede/press/tsns-brian-williams-announces-retirement-following-a-50-year-broadcasting-career/

TSN pays tribute to his decades-spanning career--over 50 years:

https://twitter.com/TSN_Sports/status/1470133699232608258

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Hard to believe it's now 30 years since this. Seven Network Australia's TV promo for its then-upcoming Barcelona 1992 broadcasting coverage that went around 22 hours a day, if I recall correctly, as it positioned itself in becoming "Australia's Olympic Network" for almost entirely its forseeable future to this day. This was Seven's first Summer Olympics broadcast since Moscow 1980 after Ten had the previous 1984 and 1988 summer versions before undergoing dismal ratings, a stock market crash-inspired financial difficulties, and an infamous receivership in 1990 as 10 TV Australia and could do no longer until Sochi 2014 when it comes to the Olympics.

 Anyway to the promo, the presentation is not too unlike what Ten did for Seoul 1988: profiling its sportscasting commentary team. But with this one, as opposed to headshots, we see Seven's team posing with some of Australia's Barcelona 1992 Olympic hopefuls happily posing in a group photo in front of a massive Australia flag. I wish I could instantly recognize many of the Australian Olympians and 7 Sport's commentators here. But I see marathon runner Steve Moneghetti, gold medal-winning swimmer Duncan Armstrong, and a young Cathy Freeman and Susie O'Neill (?) dressing casually while I can recognize Bruce McAvaney, Melbourne Tigers basketball coach Lindsay Gaze (father to Aussie Boomers hoops legend Andrew, who would play in Barcelona and would later do Seven's basketball commentary), Sandy Roberts, Garry Wilkinson, Craig Williams, David Christison, and Pat Welsh in their business wear. A coverage marked by Play Ons and fillers with Barcelona's sights and the Oarsome Foursome and Kieran Perkins and Kathy Watt as McAvaney fronted its coverage while taking care of track and field. Interestingly, both McAvaney and Roberts were both with Ten during that network's Summer Olympics' coverages during the 1980s before moving on to Seven. If we can get the list of the Seven commentators, that'll be great.

All this was coming at a time when Australia was fast-rising and excelling as more of an all-around Olympic force in winning multiple gold medals with the legacy of the AIS bearing fruit. Not to mention being indeed miles ahead from what Seven offered back in 1980 with less than 90 hours and more wall-to-wall coverage this time under the theme song "There is Nothing Greater".

 

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50 years on and its time to pay tribute to NBC's much-maligned coverage of the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan. This is the NBC intro to these Sapporo Winter Olympics set to, not Bugler's Dream of course, but "Victory is Peace" composed by John Denver & Fat City (aka Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert of Starland Vocal Band) featuring The Lee Holdridge Orchestra. With sportscasting great Curt Gowdy acting as the primetime, the coverage is notable and regarded for the national TV debut of Al Michaels calling ice hockey as well as Olympic champions like Dianne Holum, Anne Henning, Barbara Cochran and even Janet Lynn's iconic Bronze medal performance. But on TapeDelaySports' description to this on its YouTube channel, 

Quote

This was also regarded in part as a disastrous embarrassment for NBC at the time because they forgot to buy their at-venue broadcast booths separate from the broadcast rights so they had to call taped highlights right from the actual studio set instead with TV monitors placed on the desk. This was NBC's 2nd-ever Olympic telecast since the Tokyo '64 Summer Games (also in Japan) and the network's first-ever Winter Olympic telecast. NBC wasn't slated to broadcast their next Olympics until the Moscow '80 Summer Olympics 8 years later, but due to the U.S.-led boycott of the Soviet Union, it would actually be 16 years before their next assignment at the Seoul '88 Summer Olympics, and it would be another 30 years after Sapporo for NBC's next Winter Olympics at U.S.-hosted Salt Lake 2002.

 ...after ABC and CBS/TNT had their US Winter Olympic broadcasting turns. And the rest is history for NBC Olympics starting with Salt Lake City. Nothing but exclusivity from the Peacock. Strange seeing a shot of at 0:33-0:35 North Korean flag forest and fans at these Games in only their second Winter Olympics. There, North Korea sent only six speed skaters, all of them women, including Han Pil-Hwa, the first North Korean woman to participate in the Olympic Games. Would expect Japan or even Taiwan for that, the first Winter Olympics in Asia.  We get the US flag-inspired NBC Sapporo 1972 broadcasting shield, a prototype for what will come from NBC in future years, at the end. But no coverage sponsors in this video. Also something from this era: notice how the sports coverage here is presented as a part of NBC's news division like CBS did with its Rome and Squaw Valley 1960 coverages that started the US Olympic TV broadcasting history:

When Bengt Baron won gold for Sweden at the 1980 Moscow Olympics in the men's 100m backstroke at the pool. He held off two Soviet swimmers Viktor Kuznetsov and Vladimir Dolgov from the top of the medal podium. Also Australian Mark Tonelli from the surprising men's 4x400 IM relay team who finished 7th, Czechoslovakia's Miroslav Rolko at 4th, Sandor Wladar from Hungary at 5th, The Netherlands' Fred Eefting at 6th, and Brit Gary Abraham at 8th. Commentary comes Sveriges Radio's Radiosporten for this race. This will eventually help make Sweden earn 3 golds overall in Moscow with two in swimming including 100m butterfly champ Par Arvidsson and men's fencing individual epee winner Johan Harmenberg:   

 

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Hi-Vision, or as we know it as HDTV, played an important role in Japanese Olympic TV coverage for NHK. All starting with NHK's broadcast of the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Results were shocking to execs when reacting to the picture quality with its details. Then came 17 consecutive days of test broadcasting for Seoul 1988 as HDTV equipment later underwent extensive refinement, allowing large-scale coverage of the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, and other major sports events.

Albertville saw 96 hours of HDTV followed by Barcelona's 125 hours in 1992. Two years later, Lillehammer had 109 hours of total coverage from NHK. Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Games in 1996 went up to 276 hours. When Nagano, Japan got to host the 1998 Winter Olympics, NHK, TBS, Fuji TV, and TV Asahi co-produced with HD cameras equipped with VTR and slo-mo cameras in making 274 hours. All was under for Japanese consumption only. It wasn't until Salt Lake City in 2002 that the first live international Olympic transmissions actually took place, when much of the Western nations were ready for HDTV. Not in the USA and Canada yet, though. It will be Athens 2004 we will have the first American Olympic HDTV coverage through NBC when it started using those HDTV international transmission signals (CBC's HDTV Olympic presentation came a little later as it was too expensive to do back in 2004 before installing digital equipment):  

https://www.nhk.or.jp/digitalmuseum/nhk50years_en/history/p26/index.html

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Over at the very Past Opening Ceremonies on YouTube thread, my latest entry there made some mention about NET, Nippon Educational Television now TV Asahi, and its presentation of the Moscow 1980 Summer Olympics as Japan's exclusive Summer Olympics TV broadcaster and was granted 68 accreditation media cards there in the Soviet capital. So it's worth mentioning all this here...and then some. Previously with Montreal in 1976, it was NHK with TBS, Fuji TV, Nippon TV, and NET as the first Japan Pool for Olympic broadcasting. Then in 1977, NET announced it picked up the exclusive TV broadcasting territorial rights for Japan, which made the likes of NHK, TBS, Fuji TV, and Nippon TV very unhappy, and making it the first (and only) time this happened for Japan. It was arranged by Kineji Miura, a dear friend of Soviet leader Ivan Ivanokov, and got help from Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev to acquire the rights. And around a fee of 2 billion yen but ultimately lost lots of money that eventually paved the way for the permanent return of the Japan TV Pool Consortium fronted by NHK, where it remains with Japanese TV and its Olympics coverage ever since.

Everything started with back in 1979 when a TV commercial of the Olympic sponsor company (idk what company, got it from Wikipedia's Moscow 1980 Japanese entry) appeared that included the slogan "Do your best, Japan! Moscow is near!" with pre-events were held extensively in various media. Originally, NET/TV Asahi planned to air 206 hours of Moscow 1980, but of course of that, you know, the US-led boycott that Japan joined, NET's coverage was greatly reduced from 206 (more than what NBC in the USA planned to show with 150) to a measly 44 hours and only late-night recorded broadcasting was available starting at midnight Japan time, covering the more significant and principal events like swimming, track and field, gymnastics, both ceremonies, and maybe some teams sports and sports of interest of the Japanese. Had but no choice to do so. At one point though, NET contemplated abandoning the coverage altogether because of the boycott. NET employed and used a reserve team of sportscasters to cover the sports as opposed to its prime faces like Ichiro Furutachi, Mikiko Minami, Masahiro Sasaki, Yasuko Miyajima, Kazuhiko Yoshizawa, Noritsugu Watanabe, and many other station announcers who will be active later as its team. But it would have the "radical commentary", especially in Futurachi's case, had Japan not boycotted. The Japanese TV audience rating consequently reached a record low of 11.2% from the opening ceremony, and the broadcast from 23:50 on July 20, which was the first day of the competition, was also sluggish at 1.5% (from both video research, Kanto region, Japan). The Japanese Olympic Committee had to accept the boycott under orders from the Japanese government.

NET/TV Asahi have a long relay-style program with Hiroshi Kume and Judy Ongg as general moderators, popular Doraemon, Drifters, Godiego, etc. while also hosting a 26-episode series of Misha-centered imported Olympic cartoons from the Soviet Union from October 6, 1979-April 5, 1980 with a Japan co-production

https://hobby.red-cm.com/social_history/「モスクワ五輪とテレビ朝日」〜1980-ボイコットが

And yes, NET had its own Moscow 1980 coverage theme song ready called "Oretachi no Jidai (Our Time)" performed by Hideki Saijo that was on RCA Records:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vQUmu_DxMo

 

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More info on Japan's NET/TV Asahi's ill-fated exclusive Moscow 1980 TV coverage will return soon. But I just noticed the 1-minute ABC TV promo for its then-upcoming Mexico City 1968 Summer Olympics narrated by the great Jim McKay. Interspersed with Tokyo 1964 footage that resembled it's straight out of the Tokyo Olympiad documentary and set, McKay announces ABC will provide 44 hours overall (the most comprehensive and unprecedented US TV at the time for a Summer Olympics) during nightly primetime and weekends entirely in color with track and field, swimming, rowing, gymnastics, basketball, boxing, and diving prominent along with a few other sports in the overall 20 Summer Olympic sports in a panorama manner using then-innovative slo-mo and stop action. All set to a contemporary jazz score.

Owing to a one-hour time difference between the East Coast cities (like New York, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Baltimore, Charlotte, Buffalo) and Mexico City, much of that said coverage in 1968 was live with the rest of that being shown within a few hours of it taking place. These Mexico City 1968 Summer Olympics were the first time ABC actually won the weekly Nielsen ratings race for those two weeks. Minimal time zone differences certainly helped:

 

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