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ITV & the Olympics

TO
Tom03 Central (East) East Midlands Today
As a massive fan of the Olympics and Olympic broadcasting, I was wondering just why ITV stopped broadcasting the Olympics, I presume it was to do with ratings but wondered if anyone could shed more light into it. Also when they did show the Olympics what exactly did they show as in did they have the same extensive coverage BBC had or was it limited footage?

Long winded I know so sorry for that. Smile
NL
Ne1L C Recently warned Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Not long winded at all. From what I understand the 1988 olympics coverage was a joint effort between itv, Channel 4 and TVAM but for reasons lost to time it didn’t quite work that way.
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
Not long winded at all. From what I understand the 1988 olympics coverage was a joint effort between itv, Channel 4 and TVAM but for reasons lost to time it didn’t quite work that way.


Channel 4's only role was to provide an outlet for some of ITV's coverage, (in the same way BBC 1 and 2 operated for such events)
I think the UK end was hosted at Thames. Barry Norman was one of the presenting team ?

I can't remember how TV-am were involved ? I seem to recall C4 covered the action during breakfast ?
ST
Stuart West Country (West) Spotlight
From 1998 the BBC certainly had exclusive rights in the UK, and no doubt paid handsomely for the privilege. However, from this year it was to be shared with Discovery Inc. via their Eurosport channels.

IIRC during my youth, ITV's coverage was never quite as committed as that of the BBC, and with so few channels available it seemed rather a waste to have the same thing on both BBC1 and ITV.
SW
Steve Williams
I can't remember how TV-am were involved ? I seem to recall C4 covered the action during breakfast ?


TV-am weren't involved in 1988. They were supposed to be involved in 1984, but there was an industrial dispute which couldn't be settled and they had to pull out, which led to the collapse of the entire ITV coverage.

ITV showed the Olympics on a couple of occasions. They covered them in 1972, but didn't give them comprehensive coverage, they had two shows a day at 5pm and 10pm (the latter billed as News And Olympics At Ten), and the TV Times said "Want to watch Val Doonican and the Olympics? On ITV you can do both!". They didn't cover them in 1976, but they did in 1980. The coverage that year was scaled back quite dramatically on the Beeb due to the boycott, with only three or four hours a day, so ITV did as much if not more coverage than the Beeb. As mentioned they were supposed to cover it in 1984, but didn't, then they did in 1988.

Coverage was split between ITV, during the day, and C4 overnight and at breakfast time, though as you say it was all produced by ITV Sport at Thames. Barry Norman was indeed one of the presenters, doing overnights on C4, and there was quite a lot of coverage, although not as much as on the Beeb, and ITV's main highlights show each day was at 5.15 while the Beeb's was at seven. At this point ITV had the rights to British athletics so they showed quite a lot of it and had a dedicated team so it made sense they'd cover this as well. But seemingly it was too much effort for too little reward, and that was the end of it.
UKnews, Markymark and Cando gave kudos
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
From 1998 the BBC certainly had exclusive rights in the UK, and no doubt paid handsomely for the privilege. However, from this year it was to be shared with Discovery Inc. via their Eurosport channels.

IIRC during my youth, ITV's coverage was never quite as committed as that of the BBC, and with so few channels available it seemed rather a waste to have the same thing on both BBC1 and ITV.


I thought ITV made a better job of the 1980 Moscow games. The USA had pulled out (in protest over the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan) and GB competitors were made to question whether they should attend by Mrs T's administration.
The Beeb still opted to present their coverage mostly from Moscow (which caused political rumblings too)
ITV scaled back their pres activity in Moscow, but didn't totally abandon it. They had Dickie Davies in London, with Fred Dinenage being the man in their Moscow studio.
I thought it worked well
NL
Ne1L C Recently warned Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
From what I remember from the book “Morning Glory” TVAM had this grandiose plan of having Gold, Silver and Bronze advertising schemes. The idea was that there would be brief news updates at the start of every hour and the rest of the coverage would be taken up with either live or recorded footage from Seoul.

Another idea was to have Telly Savales as a presenter!
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Another idea was to have Telly Savales as a presenter!


Who loves ya baby?

Would he be sucking on a lollipop as he did it?
NL
Ne1L C Recently warned Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Another idea was to have Telly Savales as a presenter!


Who loves ya baby?

Would he be sucking on a lollipop as he did it?


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

I think the only thing anyone remembers about the Seoul Olympics was the Ben Johnson scandal. Many years later a retrospective book about News At Ten came out and the chapter (if you can call two pages per year from 1967 to 1999 a chapter) on 1988 had a segment about Seoul.

Alastair Burnet was interviewing via satellite Mark Austin when he was then an sports reporter about it. At the end of the interview Burnet said to the viewers that if Mark looked tired it was very early in the morning.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/NEWS-TEN-celebration-years-television/dp/0752217763/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=news+at+ten&qid=1600165833&s=books&sr=1-1
RO
robertclark125 Central Reporting Scotland
The BBC and itv are both members of the ebu. At the time the ebu had the rights, and so both companies could show that the Olympics if they wanted.
RR
RR
In general, unlike the World Cup, where the BBC agreed to split the games outside the final, there was no agreement for the Olympics, and in such a case the viewers would historically always choose the commercial free network for effectively the same pictures.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Have wondered how things might have panned out if it had been ITV rather than the BBC who had gone solo with the games in 1992. Back then the scheduling was very different to what we're used too now - live coverage was very much concentrated on key events but there were large chunks of the days when there was no coverage on air, with quite a bit left to highlights later at night, so on the whole scheduling them around things like the news, CITV and the breakfast franchise wouldn't have been an issue.
Turns out nobody had 2020 vision.

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