Behind The Scenes

ESPN operating within video usage restrictions for Olympic coverage

UNWNT member Carli Lloyd will be one of many Olympic athletes interviewed by Hannah Storm on SportsCenter telecasts from the Rio Olympics. (photo courtesy Hannah Storm)
US Women’s National Team member Carli Lloyd will be one of many Olympic athletes interviewed by Hannah Storm on SportsCenter telecasts from the Rio Olympics. (Photo courtesy Hannah Storm)

ESPN’s domestic news and information platforms will have coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games from Rio but it isn’t the U.S. rights holder. As such, ESPN will be operating within restrictions on usage of video.

The restrictions begin Aug. 3 and continue until 24 hours after the closing ceremonies on Aug. 21. Other non-NBC U.S. news outlets also will have restrictions.

Despite the restrictions, ESPN has extensive plans for Summer Olympics coverage.

“While we’re limited in what we can do from the perspective of traditional highlights, we’re very confident that our team of journalists will provide exceptional, indispensable coverage of the Rio Games — live and on-demand — across every ESPN platform,” said ESPN Senior Vice President, SportsCenter and News Rob King.

SportsCenter and other ESPN news programs cannot air any Olympic highlights until the conclusion of NBC’s prime time coverage on the west coast, roughly 3 a.m. ET. Also, no news conference video can be used until 30 minutes after the conclusion of the conference.

ESPN may air Olympic video in all ESPN news programs, with a maximum of six minutes per program, and up to 72 hours after the window of opportunity opens.

ESPN does not have rights for digital usage of highlights in the U.S.

ESPN’s presence at the Olympics will include daily onsite reporting on SportsCenter, ESPN.com and espnW.com by reporters and analysts. The 10 a.m. edition of SportsCenter, hosted by Hannah Storm, will air daily from Rio Aug. 8-12, the first week of the Games.

Among the ESPN commentators and reporters onsite will be Michael Eaves, Mark Schwarz, T.J. Quinn, Marc Stein (men’s basketball), Bob Harig (golf), Julie Foudy, Jim Caple, Bonnie Ford and Wayne Drehs.

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