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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Murdoch Shut Out of Games Picture

combined reports


LONDON -- Already shut out of the Olympic television market in the United States and his native Australia, Rupert Murdoch has now been frozen out of the European picture too.


Murdoch's daring $2 billion bid for exclusive European broadcast rights to five Olympic Games between the years 2000 and 2008 was rejected by the IOC on Tuesday in favor of a lower offer.


The International Olympic Committee awarded the rights to the European Broadcasting Union, a consortium of more than 40 public service broadcasters, for $1.442 billion.


The deal ensures that the Olympics will remain on BBC and other traditional television channels, rather than pay, cable or satellite systems.


Olympic television rights in the United States, Europe and Australia are now locked up for the next 12 years.


A consortium backed by Murdoch's News Corp. sought the European rights after his Fox network was beaten to the punch for the U.S. contract by NBC, which has secured six of the next seven Olympics through the year 2008.


The IOC said it accepted the EBU's offer because of the experience and expertise the consortium developed broadcasting every Olympics since the 1960 Summer Games in Rome.


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A dispute over the powerful Australian cycling team's request to use the U.S. Olympic Committee's track for pre-Olympic training this summer should be resolved this week, the committee's executive director said Tuesday from Colorado Springs, Colorado.


"We want to give our athletes every opportunity to do the best they can," Dick Schultz said. "But at the same time, we can't be the ugly Americans in this."


The U.S. Cycling Federation decided last year to close the track to all but U.S. team members from June 12 to July 3, in an effort to guarantee U.S. athletes the best possible preparation for the Atlanta Games, which start July 19.


But the Australian cycling federation took its case to the International Olympic Committee and the International Cycling Union.


The Australians, the hosts in 2000, said that other nations traditionally have kept their training facilities open to foreign athletes when they staged an Olympics. ()