USOC Pulls Plug On Olympic TV Network

Patrick Ryan "applauds" decision

By Phil Rogers
|  Sunday, Aug 16, 2009  |  Updated 12:18 PM CDT
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There will not be a USOC Olympic TV network...at least for now.

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United States Olympic officials have pulled the plug on plans for an Olympic television network that had angered the International Olympic Committee and threatened to scuttle Chicago's chances of hosting the 2016 Summer Games.

USOC chief Larry Probst announced the indefinite suspension of the network plans after meeting in Berlin with IOC President Jacques Rogge.

"In order to facilitate a productive dialogue, the USOC has decided to delay further development of the Network until we have resolved all issues of concern to the IOC," Probst said in a statement.

"President Rogge and I agreed to meet again soon and to continue these constructive and mutually beneficial discussions," the statement said.

The fledgling TV network had been seen as a slap in the face to the IOC's exclusive right to negotiate television agreements for the Olympic brand.  The announcement this summer that the USOC planned to move forward with the network over IOC objections had infuriated many Olympic Committee members, and had been seen as a potential deal breaker for Chicago's 2016 chances.

Chicago 2016 chief Patrick Ryan complimented the USOC's decision.

“We applaud Larry Probst and the USOC for making a strong statement of partnership by stating that the USOC would secure the full support and cooperation of the IOC before moving forward with the Olympic Network," Ryan said from Berlin.

"It is important not only for the USOC and IOC relationship, but also for the USOC’s role within the Olympic movement.”

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