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  • IOC Honors Broadcasters for Beijing Olympics Coverage


    In Lausanne Tuesday, the IOC recognized broadcasters with Olympic Golden Rings awards. (IOC)
    (ATR) IOC President Jacques Rogge awards prizes to recognize the broadcasters who made a special contribution to the coverage of the Beijing Olympics.

    A total of 27 films were judged by an international jury chaired by IOC Honorary President Juan Antonio Samaranch, with the winners receiving their awards at the Olympic Golden Rings ceremony in Lausanne Tuesday night.

    Members of the IOC's Radio and TV Commission were in attendance along with representatives from rights-holding broadcasters, BOCOG and organizing committees for the next three Olympics in Vancouver, London and Sochi. A number of international federations were also represented.

    There were 12 winners -- gold, silver and bronze in four categories. NBC Olympics won gold for 'Best Olympic Feature' with "The clock of their lives." Eurosport won 'Best Athletes' Profile' for an inspiring story on Thai/German fencer Wiradech Kothny. Seven Network Australia collected gold for 'Best Olympic Program.'

    'Best Sports Coverage' by the host broadcaster Beijing Olympic Broadcasting was awarded to the coverage of sailing.
    Rogge also paid tribute to two personalities from the world of television who have made media coverage of the Olympics a priority throughout their careers.

    He praised Fernando Pardo, who has covered the Games since Montreal 1976, through both Spanish TV and the European Broadcasting Union. Pardo steps down from his EBU role as head of sports operations group this year.

    Rogge also thanked Manolo Romero, who is celebrating his 40th year in Olympic broadcasting. From Mexico City 1968 to Beijing 2008, he has played a pivotal role in broadcasting all the Summer and Winter Games. Romero has been chief executive of Olympic Broadcasting Services since 2001.

    There was also a special mention for the production of the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies of the Games by the Beijing broadcasting company (Manolo Romero, Ma Guoli, Yiannis Exarchos, Pedro Rozas). Producer: Jose Ramon Diez, Beijing. Directors: Tapani Parm, Kalevi Uusivuori, YLE Finnish Broadcasting Company.

    With around 5,000 hours of coverage for viewers in 220 countries and regions worldwide and record global viewing figures in many territories, the Beijing Games was the biggest broadcast event in Olympic history.

    The opening ceremony alone was seen by 1.2 billion people; more than half of China's 1.3 billion people tuned in to watch at least some coverage of that ceremony.

    There was an unprecedented level of digital media coverage of the Games, including live broadband Internet coverage. The IOC also sought to extend the appeal of the Olympics by using the YouTube Web site for Olympics footage.

    By the end of the Beijing Games on Aug. 24, about three times more TV and online material was broadcast than at the 2004 Athens Games.

    With reporting from Mark Bisson.

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