AOC says ABC Radio short-sighted on Tokyo

Roger Vaughan
AOC CEO Matt Carroll will lobby the ABC over its move not to provide live radio cover of Tokyo 2020

The AOC has blasted the ABC, saying its decision not to provide live radio coverage of the Tokyo Olympics is monumentally short-sighted.

AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said the committee would lobby ABC Chair Ita Buttrose personally to reverse the controversial call.

The public broadcaster has carried live radio cover of every Olympics since Helsinki in 1952.

The ABC cited budget trouble and the changing broadcast environment for the decision not to bid for the non-commercial radio rights, but Carroll was unimpressed.

"The ABC should reconsider this decision. The AOC is prepared to put this case to the Chair of the ABC directly, on behalf of the eight million Australians who participate in Olympic sports," Carroll said in an AOC statement.

"(That is) not to mention the millions more who follow, support and celebrate those athletes.

"The AOC believes the decision is monumentally short-sighted and a great let down to Australians who rely on their national broadcaster - from the smallest of communities to our suburbs."

Carroll said the decision went against the ABC's Charter.

"There is no sporting movement in Australia that covers the multi-cultural and geographical diversity of our country as the Olympic movement," he said.

"We will be sending athletes to compete in some 42 disciplines in Tokyo. These are things that go to the heart of the ABC Charter."

The ABC said it was an incredibly tough decision.

"Due to competing budget priorities, coupled with the fact that Australians can access Olympic Games coverage in many other ways, we have chosen not to pursue rights in 2020," it said.