Shock as cost-cutting ABC abandons Olympic radio coverage_1


The ABC's announcement that for the first time since 1952 it will will not have a live radio broadcast of the Olympic Games has been met with shock and outrage in the sporting community.

The national broadcaster will not be bidding for the non-commercial radio rights for Tokyo 2020, citing "budget pressures and the changing broadcast environment".

"This is an incredibly tough decision, especially given our 67-year run as the official non-commercial Olympic Games radio broadcaster," the ABC said in a statement.

"Due to competing budget priorities coupled with the fact that Australians can access Olympic Games coverage in many other ways, we have chosen not to pursue rights in 2020."

The decision was dubbed a "national shame" by long-time sports broadcaster Quentin Hull, who tweeted: "The ABC will lose part of its DNA by not being at the Tokyo Olympics".
Tweet from @QuentinHull

"The coverage has always shed a light on amazing stories of not only Australians, but human achievement the world over," Hull said.

ABC Grandstand commentator Alister Nicholson also expressed his disappointment.

"It's an absolutely flat feeling walking in to work this morning … it makes me feel empty in the stomach," Nicholson said.
Tweet from @phillutton78

"That idea that I would be part of the sports department that didn't any longer cover the Olympic Games is really deflating," he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

"I can't say too much about it. Obviously this is a decision that has been made a lot higher up the chain than myself.

"I know that it is a difficult environment budgetary-wise for the ABC at the moment, and it's not an inexpensive thing to mount a broadcast of the Olympic Games."

Nicholson described the ABC team that was sent to the 2016 Rio Games as a "trimmed back … skeleton team" that he was lucky enough to be a part of.

"I'm not so much disappointed for myself, I'm disappointed for the athletes and for the public," he said.

"You think about all the great stories there are to tell — and yes, we will continue to cover in some capacity — we won't have broadcast rights in the sense that we will be able to call those great moments."

The ABC still intends to provide daily updates on ABC News and ABC Grandstand.

-with AAP