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U.S. Television: Sydney Olympic Badminton Hilites Slated On MSNBC

** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG Badminton Products and The Best Badminton Camp on the U.S. East Coast - the 1999 George Washington University Badminton Camp. **

June 24, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Badminton fans in the USA will finally get to see some Olympic Games badminton on US television, even if only in a highlight package. This was revealed by Dick Ebersol, President of NBC Sports, the holder of the US television rights to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, when he presented the broadcasting company's plans to the executive board of the U.S. Olympic Committee this Tuesday.

According to Mr. Ebersol, NBC will still focus on the more popular sports such as basketball, gymnastics, track and field, swimming, diving, and others on its broadcast network but will use its two cable channels, MSNBC and CNBC, to show other sports such as softball, boxing, fencing, table tennis, badminton, team handball and others.

NBC is planning a total of 330 hours of television coverage, twice the air time from previous Olympics. 160 hours will be on the broadcast network and 170 hours will be split between MSNBC, a cable news channel, and CNBC, a financial information cable channel. MSNBC will show Sydney Olympic Games events from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening (both Eastern times), with CNBC taking over after 5 when the financial markets close.

Mr. Ebersol cautioned that, even with the additional 170 hours, four or five of the 28 Olympic sports will have only limited coverage in highlights shows. He did not identify these four or five sports.

For the sport of badminton though, even a highlight package will be better than the Atlanta Olympic Games coverage when badminton received zero air time from NBC.

And according to sources close to the broadcast network, there is a chance that badminton could get more cable time than just wrapup highlights, but badminton fans would have to show NBC that there is a sizeable interest in badminton and that there will be a good-sized audience for Olympic badminton on MSNBC or CNBC. (E-mail for NBC Sports should be addressed to sports@msnbc.com - Editor).


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