China agrees to live broadcasts

Restrictions lifted during Olympics

International broadcasters have been given the greenlight to transmit live by satellite from places other than China’s sports stadiums during the Olympics, which bows Aug. 8.

The clearance includes limited access to Beijing’s politically sensitive Tiananmen Square.

Move follows meetings between the event’s organizing committee and rights holders, which include NBC and the European Broadcasting Union.

The organizing committee, Bocog, said webs would be given licenses and frequencies to enable live coverage from around Beijing and the other five Olympic co-host cities.

Live coverage from Tiananmen Square will be restricted to rights holders and be allowed only from 6-10 a.m. and 9-11 p.m. TV outlets will be able to pre-record programs and interviews there.

Sites classified as cultural relics, such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, would still require permission.

Intl. Olympic Committee’s communications director Giselle Davis said: “Whilst we understand there may be frustrations on the part of some broadcasters that they cannot transmit live around the clock from Tiananmen Square, we recognize that this iconic location is much in demand … and that consequently, some time constraints for live access were needed to be given by the Chinese hosts.”

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