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NBC debates delayed Olympics feed

NBC executives are divided on whether to air delayed prime time coverage of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, sources say, and the final decision has been kicked up to company president Bob Wright.

Sources say that the network's owned TV stations division and the network sales department want the delayed west coast feed - as do most west coast NBC affiliates - to maximize Olympic revenues. The network has told affiliates it's considering one live feed that would air in prime time on the east coast from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the West Coast.

West coast stations don't like it because that scheduling would blow out their local evening newscasts and deprive them of the opportunity of charging advertisers higher prime time rates for local Olympic inventory. But NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol is still pushing for the single feed, sources say. "He doesn't want this to be the first American Olympics that's delayed anywhere," a source said. - Steve McClellan