(Wasn't that the year that BBC1 incorporated the Olympic rings into its "globe" ident and smugly declared itself "the Olympic channel"?)The Guardian wrote:In 1976 ITV abandoned its plans for the Montreal Games, after the IBA – then the commercial TV regulator – asked the BBC governors for a form of alternation in coverage, only for the BBC management to speak of "total war".
Then in 1984, ITV decided to cancel its coverage of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, at a few weeks' notice as I recall. But this wasn't due to a dispute with the BBC, or even industrial action (as Wikipedia claims), but simply because they couldn't afford it:
I remember the hastily drawn-up schedules in the TV Times, including the US sci-fi miniseries "V". At the time it seemed quite an extraordinary decision.But ITV's decision not to cover the Los Angeles Games in 1984 was key to the decision to withdraw from the Olympics altogether. It was about cost and commercial returns. The official history of ITV records "extraordinary demands made for working overseas" from heavily unionised technicians. Camera crews travelled first class, received daily allowances, expected first class hotels – a disincentive on ITV companies to authorise any shooting overseas.
Has there been another example of a broadcaster committing itself to cover a sporting event and then voluntarily pulling out of it?