Last month, the International Olympic Committee announced their decision to hold swimming finals in the morning, which allows NBC to broadcast the races live during primetime in the U.S. It was a decision that was criticized by some as unfair to European and Asian broadcasters, who will show the events to fewer viewers as a result.
Now it's being reported that the European Broadcasting Union is considering legal action against the IOC for breach of contract.
"We hope to avoid a court case as we have always been loyal partners of the IOC in the past, but our members are furious about what has happened," EBU President Fritz Pleitgen told Reuters.
NBC paid $3.55 billion for Olympic coverage rights from 2000-08 and will pay an additional $2.2 billion for the 2010 and 2012 Games. The EBU has agreed to pay $1.02 billion for the 2010 and 2012 Games.
"We have had no explanation from the IOC as to the reasons for this change, and whether it is being done just to suit U.S. audiences, but we are worried that it marks a new rule where the schedule is arranged according to who pays the most money," said Pleitgen.
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