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Postponing the Tokyo Summer Olympics over coronavirus would be a complex and daunting task

  • The only events big enough to cancel the Olympics have been World War I and World War II. "If the Games were to proceed, there might be a huge obstacle when it comes to deciding who gets to participate because a growing list of international federations and national committees have canceled or postponed qualifying events," says David Wharton. "Depending on when the virus subsides, there might not be time to pick teams in the traditional manner." Wharton adds: "The biggest problem with a postponement is timing. There are dozens of international federations that govern each summer sport; many of them step aside for the Olympics but, in other years, hold major world championships. From badminton to track, these federations have already picked host cities for 2021 and beyond. Venues have been chosen, preparations begun. Television and sponsorship contracts have been signed. Finding an open date from spring through fall — three weeks that do not intrude on one or more of these competitions — would be difficult. It would be close to impossible in 2022, when the Winter Games in Beijing and the World Cup in Qatar are scheduled to take place. Another major concern is television. In the U.S., NBCUniversal has paid billions for broadcast rights. If, as the Japanese minister suggested, the Games were shifted by even a couple of months, they would land in the middle of football season. Globally, foreign networks have other popular sports to think about."

    TOPICS: Summer Olympics, NBC, Coronavirus, NBC Sports