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 This Bulletin: Mon, Sep 20 1999 9:45 AM AEST  

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The ABC and the Olympics

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation boasts a long and unbroken association with the Olympic Games dating back more than six decades.

Every Olympic Games since 1932 in Los Angeles has been covered, in one way or another, by the ABC. No other Australian radio or television network, and few others anywhere in the world, can claim such a long record of Olympic broadcasting.

This allegiance to the Olympic Games has enabled the ABC to establish an enviable, world-wide reputation for the scope, accuracy, credibility, objectivity and comprehensive nature of its coverage.

In Atlanta, the ABC�s total transmission of 195 hours of live Olympics action was, arguably, the most extensive and comprehensive continuous coverage broadcast anywhere in the world.

But the ABC�s coverage of Sydney 2000 will dwarf even that effort. The Sydney Games will be the biggest of all time in terms of the number of sports, events and medals decided.

With Australian teams and athletes having their greatest-ever representation, ABC Radio�s coverage will be the most comprehensive ever.

ABC listeners throughout the country (and around the world through Radio Australia) will be able to tune in to 14-16 hours of live Games coverage each day from a record number of venue commentary positions.

News and information about the Olympics will be carried on each of the ABC�s six domestic networks - Metropolitan radio, Regional radio, Classic FM, Triple J, Radio National and NewsRadio - plus Radio Australia.

ABC TV news and current affairs will also provide reports on the Games.

Because of the enormous diversity of its programming activities, the ABC is the only radio organisation in Australia which employs permanent, full-time specialist sports broadcasters across the country.

As a result, ABC Radio Sport is able to demonstrate a commitment, professionalism and level of expertise in sports broadcasting unrivalled within Australia, and unmatched in most parts of the world.

At all major Games, ABC Radio�s coverage embraces the event in its entirety. Sydney will be no different - rather than concentrating on just the major sports, ABC Radio will report on all events, as well as the cultural and social activities which are part of the Games.

Radio rights

Sydney marks a first in Olympic broadcasting in that it is the first time a Games organising committee has enacted a radio-only rights agreement.

For previous Games, radio rights have been granted as part of an overall Electronic Rights Agreement encompassing both radio and television.

But the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games has, for the 2000 Games, signed radio agreements with the ABC and one commercial radio network.

Rightsholders are granted access to all accredited venues and sites in order to provide unrestricted live coverage of the Games.

Track record

With more than 60 years� experience in servicing the broadcast needs of Australia, the ABC is a world leader in public broadcasting.

It provides "free to air" services on six domestic radio networks and an overseas service on Radio Australia, along with a domestic television service and an extensive online service.

Broadcasting on more than 260 transmitters, ABC Radio is accessible to the country�s entire population, and is therefore Australia�s only national network.

The commitment of ABC Radio Sport to its audience should not be underestimated. Since the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in 1982, ABC Radio has developed its coverage in Los Angeles (1984), Edinburgh (1986), Seoul (1988), Auckland (1990), Barcelona (1992), Victoria (1994) and Atlanta (1996) to encompass 12-14 hours of continuous, live broadcasts on all days of competition.

The ABC�s broadcasts are available not only to every Australian, but also to countless millions of people throughout the world via Radio Australia which, for many in the Pacific, is the only source of Games� broadcasts.

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© 1999 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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In Depth

HAVE YOUR SAY: Olympics entertainers.
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PROFILES: Athletes from home and abroad profiled
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FEATURE: Former drug tester blows whistle on testing program
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FEATURE: Prospects not so bright for record boxing team
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FEATURE: Charlesworth's last hurrah
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FEATURE: Olympics brings Ancient Olympic Art to Australia
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FEATURE: Olympics brings Dead Seas Scrolls to Australia
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FEATURE: Aussie gymnasts medal hopes
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FEATURE: Gennadi Touretsky: Super coach
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FEATURE: Boomers aiming for the medals
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FEATURE: Karen Tighe talks to Norman May
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