Broadcasters sanctioned for breach Olympic rules

Aug. 06, 2008, 11:11 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING(AP) The South Korean TV broadcaster that leaked images of a dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony has been banned from having a camera inside the venue for the official opening of the Beijing Olympics on Friday.

IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said sanctions against SBS, which shares the South Korean broadcasting rights, included a ban on having its own cameras inside the stadium for the opening.

``But they will have access to the signal. And do have the possibility to have a commentator in the stadium,'' she said.

Video of a dress rehearsal was leaked last week, offering a first glimpse of the elaborate production.

It did not reveal how the organizers - led by China's most famous filmmaker, Zhang Yimou - plan to light the Olympic cauldron or the identity of the final torchbearer.

An Australian television channel was banned from official Olympic areas for a week by the IOC for breaking the rules of non-rights holders at the Beijing Games.

Channel Nine went into the swimming venue with TV equipment, which is prohibited by the International Olympic Committee. The network, which did not air any footage taken in the venue, will still be able to interview athletes as long as they are outside official areas.

The ban will end next Wednesday night.

``The IOC has taken action against what was, in our view, a serious breach of the news access rules,'' IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said Wednesday. ``The Nine Network ENR crew will not be issued Olympic Green Common Domain filming passes and will not be permitted to enter the Olympic Green Common Domain with equipment.''

Channel 7 is the official broadcaster for Australia, and that network complained to the IOC about the breach.

``They apologized to Channel 7, and they gave assurances that such breaches would not occur again,'' Davies said. ``However, as you may remember, a similar venue breach incident was also committed by a Nine network in Athens.''

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