Sochi Winter Games to top Beijing coverage

Last updated 04:43 08/02/2014

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Winter Olympics

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The Sochi Olympics will generate more worldwide broadcast coverage hours than the 2008 Beijing Games, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Friday (local time).

Winter Games have far fewer sports, with only seven federations taking part compared to 28 at summer Games.

"The sun is shining on Sochi, the sun is shining on the athletes," Thomas Bach told reporters before the Games' opening ceremony on Friday.

"The Games will be broadcast in more than 200 countries and territories with a total of 75,000 hours. This is an incredible figure, more than the summer Games in 2008."

The International Olympic Committee said the figure for Beijing was 72,000 hours worldwide.

Broadcast rights revenues are the biggest single source of income for the IOC. More than US$4 billion was generated for the 2014-2016 two-Games period.

Bach laughed off suggestions these are the first Games to have received a direct security threat, after Islamist militants, fighting for an independent state in the North Caucasus, threatened the Games in a video message last month.

"You cannot imagine how many threats to the Olympics we have had," he said, laughing loudly.

"We had threats on Sydney (2000), Athens (2004), and you remember the situation in Salt Lake City (in 2002)."

The 2002 Winter Games were held five months after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States the previous year.

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- Reuters

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