Saturday, January 01, 2005

More on the 2012 TV debate

Subject: More on the 2012 TV debate
Date: 31-Dec-04 19:06:36 Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Bidders for 2012 Games to Debate on TV
Bid Leaders From Five Cities Vying for 2012 Summer Olympics to Debate Positions on Television
Associated Press
December 31, 2004

LONDON Dec 31, 2004 ­ Is beach volleyball better in Central Park or beside
the Eiffel Tower? Are Olympic venues more scenic alongside the Moscow River
or the Thames? Would the world's best athletes rather eat bagels on the
Upper West Side or tapas in Madrid?

Those and other questions might be addressed if the first TV debate in
Olympic bid history comes off, featuring senior figures from the five
cities vying for the 2012 Summer Games. The debate would be broadcast by
BBC World.

The date, site and guests for the proposed debate have not yet been
decided, BBC World spokesman Kevin Young said Friday. The format most
likely would involve each bid leader presenting his case, with a panel
later asking questions.

"It's obviously a good thing for all of the cities," New York 2012
spokesman Michael Moran said in a telephone interview.

The BBC World channel is shown in more than 200 countries and the debate
would give each city a chance to make a very public pitch for hosting the
Olympics. While the format would be different from the presentations made
to the International Olympic Committee, the debate would also allow each
city to, as Moran says, "highlight their positives."

"It's a fair opportunity for everyone to state their arguments," Paris 2012
spokesman Jerome Lenfant said.

Added London 2012 spokesman Michael Lee: "It's good to have an open and
friendly airing of this important debate."

Lenfant said all five cities have agreed to the program. Phone calls to
Madrid and Moscow representatives were not immediately returned.

The 2012 host will be selected by the International Olympic Committee on
July 6 in Singapore. The IOC said it would have no problem with the debate,
as long as the bidding process rules apply. Under those regulations,
candidate cities are forbidden from attacking each other; IOC president
Jacques Rogge recently told the candidates to stop sniping at each other.

"The focus will be on each city's own proposals," London's Lee said.

The IOC's 11-member evaluation commission will visit Madrid on Feb. 3-6,
London on Feb. 16-19, New York on Feb. 21-24, Paris on March 9-12, and
Moscow on March 14-17.

The panel will give its recommendations to the 100-plus IOC members a month
before the vote.

AP Sports Writer Connor Ennis in New York contributed to this report.

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