There might be a record number of video cameras in Beijing this summer, but the vamped up restrictions on digital rights the International Olympic Committee announced earlier this week will leave squadrons of TV teams and citizens journalists with a lot less to cover.

NBC paid a record $894 million for rights to broadcast the games and understandably wants to make sure no one encroaches, but the IOC has made even press conferences off limits for Internet broadcast, according to a report by SportsBusiness Daily published earlier this week.

Digital rights restrictions have existed at past Olympics, but Beijing will be the first time online video, from both mainstream media and citizen journalists, will pervade the games.

AP to send 300 staffers to Beijing

The Associated Press will have over 300 staffers
in Beijing this summer–more than any other news organization. The AP
will produce seven to 10 original video clips a day,
covering everything from athlete profiles to steroid scandals to

Yesterday Andy and I visited the global
headquarters of the AP in Manhattan to interview Jim Kathman, Global
Director of Sports Products, about about plans for this summer.

We wonder with all the video resources of the AP
and others if it will be easy to cover the games without fear of
retribution by the IOC.

Update: Rafat Ali  over at paidContent weighs-in on the with this headline: NBC’s Totalitarian Olympics



— Kelsey Blodget, Associate Producer

Editor’s Note:  Great to welcome Kelsey Blodget to
the staff of Beet.TV as associate producer and blogger.  Kelsey just
graduated Dartmouth where she was an editor at The Dartmouth, the student newspaper.  She has also been a contributor to the Silicon Alley Insider, but is no relation to Henry.  Great to have her at the purple channel. 

— Andy Plesser