Goodwill Follows Olympics Down Under
Despite the fact the big time difference may preclude live
coverage in the U.S., the Goodwill Games will originate from Australia in late 2001 on
Turner Network Television, nearly one year after the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics air on
That marks the first time that the Goodwill Games will take
place in a country other than the U.S. or the former Soviet Union.
That's partly because the Turner Broadcasting System
Inc.-created event began as a way of offsetting the chill of the Cold War, which has been
thawed out of existence. Beyond that, Turner Sports president Harvey Schiller said,
"We see the Goodwill Games as a global event."
"There's a long lineup for future winter and
summer Goodwill Games," he said, including many "major European cities."
For the winter games, Calgary in Western Canada, and virtually every other nation
that's hosted a Winter Olympics is in the Goodwill hunt, he added.
The 2001 Goodwill event will span 12 days (Aug. 29 to Sept.
9), which is "about average," he said. Because the 16-hour time lag between
Australia and the Eastern U.S. is difficult to overcome, the bulk of the Goodwill coverage
-- like NBC's Summer Olympics next fall -- will have to be pretaped.
Still, "there's a possibility some of it will be
live," Schiller said.
Unlike previous Goodwill outings, TBSI will have no
broadcast television network partner for the upcoming winter and summer events. In the
past, CBS tied in. "We don't need that anymore," Goodwill Games president
Mike Plant said last March.
Nor is there a sister Turner or Time Warner network
involved -- yet. In the past, TBS Superstation and Home Box Office have shared some
coverage. But Schiller said he has not yet ruled out a sister network's involvement.
The first winter Goodwill Games -- due next year (Feb. 17
to Feb. 20) in Lake Placid, N.Y. -- will feature professional figure the first time,
Schiller said, in three nights of competition and an "Exhibition of Champions."
Under an agreement with Tom Collins Enterprises'
Champions on Ice, such female skating stars as Nancy Kerrigan, Katarina Witt, Oksana Baiul
and Dorothy Hamill and such male skaters as Brian Boitano, Victor Petrenko and Brian Orser
"A number of sponsors have been signed," said
Schiller. "Most [sponsorships] have been completed now," he said, but Turner is
not ready to announce them yet.
For the 2001 summer coverage, "most of the sponsors
involved in the New York Goodwill Games [last year] have shown interest in Brisbane,"
When asked if there have been ongoing talks about
Schiller's joining George Steinbrenner's soon-to-be-formed sports team holding
company YankeeNets, Schiller responded, "That's still a rumor."
YankeeNets, announced last February, would combine the
business interests of baseball's New York Yankees and basketball's New Jersey
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