Stephen Wade reports from Beijing:
Television networks that will broadcast the Beijing Olympics to billions around the world are squaring off with local organizers over stringent security that threatens coverage of the games in two months.
Differences over a wide range of issues – from limits on live coverage in Tiananmen Square to allegations that freight shipments of TV broadcasting equipment are being held up in Chinese ports – surfaced in a contentious meeting late last month between Beijing organizers and high-ranking International Olympic Committee officials and TV executives – including those from NBC.
In response to the complaints from broadcasters, Sun Weijia, head of media operations for the Beijing organizers, asked them to put it in writing, only to draw protests about mounting paperwork.
“I think what I have heard here are just a number of conditions or requirements that are just not workable,” said IOC official Gilbert Felli, according to minutes of the May 29 meeting obtained by The Associated Press. “There are a number of things that are just not feasible.”