The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Monday that Internet sites are banned from showing streamed audio or video content of the Olympic Games for the next ten years.
Until Web sites can guarantee to restrict access to people within the same country as the site is based, they will not be allowed to carry video or audio streams from any Olympic Games, stated Dick Pound, chairman of the IOC Internet working group.
The decision came at the start of a two-day conference, hosted by the IOC in the Swiss city of Lausanne, which will debate the relationship between sports broadcasting and the Internet.
The IOC banned Web sites from showing live action from this summer's Olympic Games in Sydney to protect its existing broadcasting deals. Because of time differences, in many countries Olympic action was only shown on TV many hours after it actually happened.
Had video streams been available on the Internet of live events then TV companies, which paid a total of £1.45bn to the IOC for exclusive broadcasting rights, could have lost viewers to these online sites.
Because of the Sydney ban, the BBC had to suspend transmission of the World Service over the Internet. The online transmission of other radio stations, such as London Live 94.9, were also hit.
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