ESPN to cover Beijing Winter Olympics remotely due to COVID-19
WASHINGTON, Jan 21 -- ESPN announced Thursday that it will not be sending any reporters to the Beijing Olympic Winter Games over concerns of COVID-19 and related restrictions.
The sports network will instead cover the Games remotely with a robust plan that will roll out prior to the beginning of competition next month, United Press International (UPI) reported the sports channel said in a statement.
The safety of our employees is of utmost importance to us, said Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president. With the pandemic continuing to be a global threat, and with 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.
The network had planned to send four reporters to China, but they will now join a larger team dedicated to reporting on the events via the measures organizers have implemented to make information and interviews available online.
ESPN made its announcement a day after NBC Sports told USA Today that it will not send its announcing teams to the games, according to UPI.