ESPN announces it won’t send reporters to Beijing Olympics due to COVID-19
ESPN has announced that it will not be sending news personnel to the Beijing Winter Olympics due to COVID-19 concerns and pandemic-related restrictions.
ESPN had planned on sending four reporters to China, but those reporters will now join the network’s remote Olympic coverage, according to the statement.
“The safety of our employees is of utmost importance to us,” ESPN’s Executive Vice President Norby Williamson said in a statement.
“With the pandemic continuing to be a global threat, and with the COVID-related on-site restrictions in place for the Olympics that would make coverage very challenging, we felt that keeping our people home was the best decision for us,” Williamson continued.
ESPN’s announcement comes a day after NBC Sports said it will not be sending any announcing teams to the upcoming Winter Olympics due to concerns about COVID-19.
“The announce teams for these Olympics, including figure skating, will be calling events from our Stamford (Conn.) facility due to COVID concerns,” Greg Hughes, NBC Sports senior vice president of communications, told USA Today.
“We’ll still have a large presence on the ground in Beijing and our coverage of everything will be first rate as usual, but our plans are evolving by the day as they are for most media companies covering the Olympics,” said Hughes.
The 2022 Beijing Olympics is set to begin on Feb. 4.
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