Beijing Olympics mobile, online rights up for bid

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BEIJING -- Internet and mobile rights for broadcasting the 2008 Beijing Olympics inside the territory of China went up for sale this week when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) invited media companies to submit bids by April 18 at 5 p.m. Swiss time.

The IOC tender, issued Thursday, gave specific guidelines for broadcasting Beijing Olympics material on the Internet and mobile platforms inside China, where there are 137 million Internet users and 467 million mobile phone users.

China's leading mobile telecommunication company, state controlled China mobile, finished last year with 301.2 million wireless subscribers.

Chinese state flagship broadcaster and Asian Broadcasting Union member China Central Television holds all over-the-air television rights to the Beijing Games.

"The IOC is committed to running a competitive tendering process in China, the host territory of the Olympic Games in 2008," said Timo Lumme, IOC Director of Television and Marketing. "The tender process is designed to select media companies that can best serve the ideals and interests of the Olympic Movement and realize the potential of the exciting new media opportunities in China."

Lumme added, "We are looking for offers that develop the promotion and coverage of the Olympic Games, embrace new technologies and guarantee the widest possible audience in China for the Olympic Games across a variety of media platforms."
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