Olympic athlete's death streamed on CTV site

Broadcaster also posted the footage with viewer warning

TORONTO -- When Canada's CTV-led Olympic broadcast consortium said it will stream every second of the Vancouver Games sporting competition, it didn't have capturing the moment of a competitive athlete's death in mind.

But that's what happened Friday afternoon when Canadian online viewers of CTV's dedicated Olympics Web site witnessed in real time the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili after a high-speed crash at the end of his final pre-Olympic training run at the Whistler Sliding Center.

And after "much consideration," according to CTV sources, the broadcaster posted footage of the horrific crash that led to the athlete's death, with a viewer warning attached. With YouTube and other online video sites almost instantly posting the same graphic video, Canadian broadcasters with exclusive rights to air and stream the Olympics live seemingly had no alternative.

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A second video posting on the CTV Olympics Web site had the broadcasters' sport commentators offering extended discussion of possible fallout on and off the Whistler sliding track from the tragic death of the Georgian athlete. CTV's TV news coverage stopped short of televising Kumaritashvili's tragic crash, and instead showed the severely injured athlete being placed in an ambulance.

To provide 24/7 coverage of the Vancouver Olympics online, the Canadian broadcast media consortium will feature 2,350 hours of exclusive online content on up to 14 concurrent live streams, in addition to live streaming on mobile devices.