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  • World Briefs -- Madrid 2016, Universal Sports, Ethical Labor Standards and Olympic Merchandise


    Madrid Emblem Carries Olympic Rings

    Madrid is the latest of the four 2016 candidate cities to use a new logo that includes the Olympic rings. The rings appear just below Madrid’s distinctive multi-colored hand.

    In a variation from other candidate city logos, the words “Candidate City” appear to the right of the logo, underneath “Madrid 2016”.

    A Madrid 16 official says approval for the logo changes came in the past few days from the IOC and Spanish Olympic Committee.

    Rio de Janeiro will be the last of the 2016 cities to update its logo, a change that could come any day.

    Tokyo and Chicago unveiled their new logos last week. The cities became eligible for new logos on June 4 when they were selected as candidate cities from a seven-city field.

    IOC Responds to Play Fair Complaints

    The International Olympic Committee says it requires its own suppliers to follow ethical labor practices, but that it cannot oversee the entire Olympic Family.

    "For branded products managed directly by the IOC, the necessary contractual clauses exist in our supplier purchasing agreements," spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau tells Around the Rings.

    Her comments come after labor activist group Play Fair 2008 demonstrated in front of Lausanne headquarters, demanding a strong IOC response to alleged labor rights violations on the Olympic supply chain.

    "The IOC does not
    Beijing 2008 requires suppliers to adhere to Chinese labor law, but Play Fair reports some deviations. (Getty Images)  
    directly manage and control the production of all Olympic-related products across the world. We can only influence the production process by creating standards and policies that are agreed to by everyone involved in the staging of the Olympic Games," Moreau says.

    She adds that the IOC is working with external experts to create a strategy for ethical sourcing across the IOC supply chain. Now, the IOC already encourages the 205 national Olympic committees and 35 International Federations to work with fair and ethical suppliers, she continues.

    The latest Games-tied report from the campaign details violations such as sub-minimum wage page, forced overtime and health and safety violations at four mainland China factories production Beijing 2008 goods.

    Play Fair 2008 is a collaborative campaign organized by several major labor unions. A similar campaign was organized around the 2004 Games.

    New Partnership with NBC, WCSN, to Start in Days

    The new partnership between NBC and Olympic sports channel
    World Championship Sports Network goes on line this week.

    To be known as Universal Sports, the first programming will include coverage of the U.S. Olympic Trials for gymnastics and diving starting June 19.

    Expect some dual branding for the next few weeks. A spokesman for NBC says the World Championship Sports Network will be rebranded into Universal “sometime in July”.

    While Universal may be covering Olympic trials, the new channel will not carry programming from the Beijing Olympics.

    WCSN CEO Claude Ruibal tells Around the Rings that the the marketing muscle of NBC will “help create us as the destination people go to, to follow these athletes they get excited about seeing during the Games”.

    World Championship Sport Network currently holds a channel cable in the U.S. and operates a subscription based website that offers coverage of over 60 sports disciplines.

    WCSN has the rights to 2,000 hours of annual event programming. The Los Angeles company was formed in 2005.

    On Monday NBC and WCSN announced their deal, in which NBC takes a majority interest in the firm. The other major shareholder is private equity firm Intermedia Partners.

    The current WCSN management team of CEO Ruibal and President Carlos Silva will remain in place.

    No comment yet from the U.S. Olympic Committee on what impact this new network will have on its plans to create an Olympic cable channel. Questions certainly will be raised about the viability of a second channel on U.S. cable devoted to Olympic channel.

    World Briefs...

    Veteran sports broadcaster Charlie Jones, 77, died of a heart attack Thursday at his home outside of
    San Diego, California. While Jones is most well-known for calling American football games for NBC, he got his start with ABC's Wide World of Sports. Jones worked the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, the 1986 World Cup in Mexico City, and numerous other international sporting events. Jones won an Emmy in 1973 for his documentary "Is Winning the Name of the Game?"

    "All of us at NBC are saddened at the passing of one of the great pioneers of NBC Sports. His work in particular on the NFL, golf and the Olympics left a lasting legacy," said Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports.

    Written by Eric Connelly, Ed Hula III and Maggie Lee.

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