Chinese Government, Broadcasters Agree on Live Coverage

News outlets can travel freely around Beijing, other cities hosting Olympic Games events.

Olympic Games rights holders reached an accord with Chinese officials for live news coverage around the region during the Beijing Games, which begin Aug. 8 with opening ceremonies.

The agreement, which came Wednesday during a meeting among broadcasters and Chinese officials, took months of delicate negotiations with broadcasters, including exclusive U.S. broadcaster NBC, advocating for unfettered access to various locales in China, including Tiananmen Square, for live news coverage.

The Chinese government’s attempt to control and limit live coverage anywhere but at Olympic venues was the source of much frustration for news organizations spending billions of dollars to cover the games and was further complicated by the deadly earthquake there that spurred widespread protests from the Chinese people.

Under the agreement, news outlets can travel freely around Beijing and other cities hosting Olympic events.

Some high-profile locations, including the Great Wall, will still require special permission, according to The Wall Street Journal. But Tiananmen Square will be open for live stand-ups for rights holders, including NBC, on a limited basis for a few hours in the morning and evening.