Comcast Cost Cutting=NBC Out of Olympic TV? by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

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Steve Burke, the CEO of Comcast has been quoted as saying, in, that due to cost cutting, NBC may get out of the Olympic TV business! So, the worst kept rumor in the TV business may be true!  How will this affect our friends at Universal?

Also, please read the word, "May", that is the operative word. TV producers and TV networks have been begging poverty for some time. We will not know if this is play acting for some time!

More details on this one to come


RAS AL KHAIMAH (UAE, Feb 18): Kenyan Mary Keitany (29) clocked at 5th edition of RAK Half Marathon excellent world record 1:05:50. She improved the former mark of Lornah Kiplagat 1:06:25 from World Championships in Udine 2007 by 35 seconds. She also clocked en route one world record and two world bests. For 20 km her split 1:02:36 is better than existing global mark of Lornah Kiplagat from her record run in Udine (1:02:57). Fastest 10 miles (world best) were also registered with Keitany timed at 50:05. Clearly better than the 51:43 (Teyiba Erkesso in 2007) recognised by road races statisticians at ARRS and also as 50:39 of Linet Masai in Amsterdam 2009. At 8 km she had 24:30 better than Paula Radcliffe´s 24:38 from 1999 Balmoral. With a slight breeze coming from the east, but in conditions that were otherwise perfect (approximately 17C at the start), she looked relaxed and with a stated target tempo of 3:08 per kilometre, she was clearly way ahead of schedule before half way. With the home straight almost a kilometre long, on making the final turn she could see the finish and pushed hard for home. Keitany who will earn 75 000 USD (25 for first place and 50 as world record bonus) is 2009 World Half Marathon champion and debuted in marathon last fall as third in New York 2:29:01. Next target for Keitany is April London Marathon. This are also first road world records of 2011. Second and third were Ethiopian runners Dire Tune 1:08:52 and Mare Dibaba 1:08:57. Fourth Rose Kosgei 1:09:04 ahead of Agnes Kiprop 1:09:10 for Kenya. Sixth place for Hilda Kibet of Netherlands with European leading time 2011 1:09:35 ahead of Turkish Sultan Haydar who debuted with 1:10:01. French marathon record holder Christelle Daunay was 9th (1:11:13) ahead of experienced Hungarian Aniko Kalovics (1:13:34).  Their team-mate Deriba Merga won the men´s race in world leading 59:24 after very fast pace (13:37, 27:31, 41:44 at first 15 km). Remaining two podium places for Kenyans: second Bernard Kipyego 59:44 and third Leonard Langat 59:52 (life-time best). Favorite Patrick Makau ended 12th (1:03:51). Merga also clocked en route 21:51 at 8 km, also a world best (formerly 22:02 Kenyan Peter Githuka in 1996).



MUNICH (GER): Sprint world record holder Usain Bolt is in Germany until Sunday. He undergoes a medical check-up at specialist doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt before his summer season. German media are reporting that it is a routine check, Bolt said he is in good shape and wanted to be sure before his competitions will begin. He is doing specific core training under the hands of FC Bayern Munich fitness coach Thomas Wilhelmi and met with football players of Bayern Munich. "I know Muller-Wohlfahrt since I was 16 years old. He is the best," said Bolt about his connection to the doctor of German National football team and multiple national champion Bayern Munich. Bolt confirmed his season begins most probably early May at Kingston IAAF World Challenge Meeting, the Diamond League circuit starts for him in Rome on May 26.



STOCKHOLM (SWE): Pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva is changing her plan. She will not compete in Stockholm on February 22 at XL-Galan meet (IAAF Indoor permit) in order to prepare for European Indoor Championships in Paris.  The decision was based on the opinion of coach Vitaliy Petrov and Yelena herself as she needs to work on technical details in order to improve her shape before Paris. The main goal of Isinbayeva is to win in Bercy. On the other hand women´s 3000 m race is shaping up. Meseret Defar plans to attack her own world indoor record and will have a tough company. Her country-rival Sentayehu Ejigu, US Shalane Flanagan, European Champion Alemitu Bekele of Turkey, current world leader Olesya Syreva of Russia and former world leader Mercy Njoroge from Kenya.



LAUSANNE (SUI): This weekend as already informed by EME NEWS most of European countries will stage its national championships. This weekend also looks to be the last possibility to get combined event marks in order to qualify for Paris based on 2011 results. Five such places are available for both men heptathlon and women pentathlon. In current rankings for men Czech multi-events star Roman Sebrle leads the order with 6117 points ahead of Russian Vasiliy Kharlamov (5965), Austrian Dominik Distelberger (5951), second Russian Aleksandr Kislov (5949) and Belgian talent Thomas Van der Plaetsen (5901). In women´s heptathlon the ranking before the weekend is as follows: Antoniette Nana Djimou of France 4540, Grit Sadeiko of Estonia 4422 ahead of Czech Zuzana Hejnova 4406, another Estonian Kaie Kand 4383 and Latvian Aige Grabuste 4369.







BRUSSELS (BEL): Olympic high jump champion Tia Hellebaut and her husband/coach have not excluded she might make a comeback to high jumping after giving birth to her second daughter. When announcing her pregnancy in August last year Hellebaut already told Belgian media she would not make any predictions about her future career.


NIJVERDAL (NED): 800 m European medalist Yvonne Hak is the favorite to win the short cross national title this weekend at the Dutch cross country championships. Hak will face opposition from Lesley Van Miert. Both athletes won gold and silver in the 3000m at last week's Dutch national indoor championships.


BIRMINGHAM (GBR): As a publicity stunt ahead of the AVIVA Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday, Kelly Sotheron and Mark Lewis Francis invited Jamaica's Lerone Clarke and America's David Payne to a unique experience. The group of athletes was given a Balti cooking lesson at the famous Shilma Pinks and then had an amicable competition between the groups. Clarke and Payne were narrowly beaten by hosts Sotherton and Lewis Francis after the head chef declared their chicken to be "slightly more tender" writes


BELFAST (IRE): 2006 World indoor champion Derval O'Rourke has withdrawn from this weekend's Irish indoor national championships in Belfast. The athlete insists her absence is "purely precautionary" after she sustained a minor groin injury in training last week. O'Rourke already had to pull out of Karlsruhe last weekend and now will also be missing from the Birmingham Grand Prix and the Irish national indoor championships confirms the Irish Times.


AMSTERDAM (NED): For the first time in over a month Dutch runner Adrienne Herzog has commented on the ongoing doping case 'Operacion Galgo'. To Dutch media she said she continues to fight the sick rumours about her alleged doping abuse and has hired a lawyer to defend her case. The Dutch Athletics federation is in close contact with the Spanish athletics federation to follow up on the case.


LOS ANGELES (USA): informs that Steve Burke, the new CEO of NBC Universal, indicated in the latest Comcast earnings announcement that the future of the new Comcast subsidiary will include cost-cutting that may mean NBC will no longer broadcast the Olympics, reports Burke commented about sports telecasts in general, but specifically mentioned that the network lost more than $220 million on the Vancouver Olympics, adding that the company may not be willing to bid for the Games in the future.


LONDON (GBR): IAAF President Lamine Diack claimed Sebastian Coe could easily succeed him to the most powerful position in world athletics but added that a number of other candidates, including Ukrainian pole vault legend Sergey Bubka, could also take on the role writes Insidethegames. Coe is the London 2012 chairman and one of four vice-presidents of the IAAF.


LONDON (GBR): London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton has warned they are working alongside the Metropolitan Police to make life "very difficult and very painful" for anyone trying to sell counterfeit tickets for the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. The London Police's new Operation Podium unit, set up specially for London 2012, has already made 32 arrests in the seven months since it was set up in connection with fake tickets and after releasing the schedule for the Olympics earlier this week, organisers are concerned hundreds of bogus websites will emerge when the official tickets go on sale on March 15 reports Insidethegames.


JOHANNESBURG (RSA): Suspended Athletics South Africa president Leonard Chuene says he will return to the courts to fight the findings of a disciplinary inquiry panel. "Despite these naked attempts by Sascoc/ASA to dismiss us, we have absolute confidence in our case and believe that we will be exonerated and justice will be done," Chuene and his colleagues said in a joint statement released via their lawyers who are willing to take the case to the High Court reports In more news about Athletics South Africa it appeared  that South Africa's top track official resorted to lies and threats to ensure Caster Semenya was allowed to run at the 2009 world championships after questions were raised about her gender. It was the South African Olympic Committee who released the documents to back up their decision to suspended Chuene as president of Athletics South Africa.


OTTAWA (CAN): Athletics Canada has set up a new series of meets under the name 'The National Track League's' (NTL). The inaugural edition will feature over 300,000 dollar in prize money.  NTL is a point based grand prix style series and in 2011 will make stops in Edmonton, Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria over the course of 15 days end of June and early July. Athletics Canada will launch the official NTL website within coming weeks.


LJUBLJANA (SLO): Slovenian pole vault record holder Tina Sutej will not compete at European Indoor Championships because of her college duties during the indoor season in USA. She so far this year improved her national indoor record to 447 cm.


TOKYO (JPN): Brett Larner informs that double World Championships marathon medalist and two-time Olympian Reiko Tosa has withdrawn from her planned comeback run at the Feb. 27 Tokyo Marathon due to an injury to her right leg. According to Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo head coach Shigeharu Watanabe, Tosa has been experiencing discomfort since her return to racing at the Jan. 30 Osaka Half Marathon. Tosa gave birth to her first child, a daughter, last April. The Tokyo Marathon was to be her return to the full marathon distance after an absence of two years.


MOUNTAIN VIEW (USA): US record holder Chris Solinsky confirmed for before his Australian trip:  "I'm probably more ready to race now than usual. After Melbourne, I might do a 10K just to get the A-standard for the Olympics. But then I'll just train and get ready for the nationals and the Worlds. I may not be racing a lot, but the ones I do run hopefully will be pretty good." Of the Australian 5000, Solinsky said, "We want to get the standard [13:20.00] out of the way, then head back into training. We have realized that doing the big-strength volume like we have for the last few years, then we can come and race off that." And about views for summer: "For myself, I'm looking more at the 5000 this year, because I don't think I could survive a 10,000 in Daegu. So go in a shorter distance to work on racing tactics, then get ready for longer distances next year. I know the 10 is where my strength is and the climate in England will be better for us in the 10,000. But races like indoor mile or the 5000s this year... ultimately, everything I do is preparation for the 10,000 in London."


WARSZAWA (POL): Polish athletics is remembering today that two years ago suddendly the hammer olympic winner Kamila Skolimowska died during a training camp in Portugal. Today a special mass will be held in one of Warszawa´s churches. Foundation with her name is collecting donations in order to help young and upcoming or injured athletes. For September 20 is planned second edition of Kamila Skolimowska Memorial meeting not only with hammer throw but also other events in Warszawa.







SUMY (UKR, Feb 18): Pavlo Oliynik won men´s steeple during last day of Ukrainian Indoor Championships with 8:47.18. It was the top mark of the short programme of the ultimate day.


STAIKI (BLR, Feb 17): Solid hammer winning results at Belarus Winter Throwing Championships. Valeriy Svyatokho achieved 73.54 and Elena Matoshko 70.63.

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