IBM has been accused by the International Olympic Committee of wanting too much money for providing its technology, according to reports.
Last week, IBM said it was ending its long association with the Olympics on the grounds of cost (see Newswire 13 August). Under the terms of its sponsorship deal, IBM provided technology and equipment in return for the kudos of supporting such a high profile event, and the right to allow the Olympic rings in its marketing campaigns.
However, it was heavily slammed at the 1996 Atlanta Games for failing to provide an accurate results service. Its coverage of the Nagano Winter Olympics was deemed a success, but at an estimated cost of $140 million.
Officials of the IOC said IBM believed the costs of providing technology were going to soar far higher than organisers' budgets allowed. It is now looking to a consortium to deliver its IT needs after IBM finishes its commitment at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
IBM expects to recieve at least two billion hits on its Web site for that event, a prediction based on the Nagano Olympics, where the Web site had over 635 million hits.
Internet rights were another sticking point in any deal between IBM and the IOC, with the latter keen to separate the Internet from the rest of the IT sponsorship package, on the grounds that it could not foretell how the Internet will develop as a medium in the next four years.
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