Radio Canada has put in place a major contingency plan should the Tokyo Summer Olympics be canceled.
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Rumors of the cancellation have been circulating for several months in Japan, especially since we saw an increase in COVID-19 cases in Tokyo.
Under these circumstances, the ICI Télé administration had no choice but to develop alternative programming, especially as it intends to deliver 360 hours of sport during the two Olympic weeks, that is, 22 hours and 30 minutes a day, starting from July 23. Until August 8.
According to Francois Messier, Olympic chef, CBC / Radio Canada, the decision to ban foreign spectators from entering the competitions “has calmed things down” in Tokyo a lot.
Regarding this famous plan B to fill a potential 16-day programming gap, Senior Sports and Olympic Production Director, Catherine Dupont, points out that Radio Canada is still one.
The only difference is that the broadcaster can use it this time.
CBC / Radio-Canada revealed its Plan A to cover the Tokyo Olympics during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
Due to COVID restrictions, the broadcaster will send out a reduced team. In total, 135 people will be on site, compared to a regular 250. They will have to respect certain measures, such as presenting a negative COVID-19 test that is done no later than three days before boarding the plane, taking a test on arrival, avoiding public transportation, etc.
In the team of 67 commentators and analysts, only five will make the trip. As for the directors of the four antennas, Marie-José Torkotte, Guillaume Dumas, Martin Labrouse and Jacinth Tylon, they will all remain in Montreal.
No overrun cost
Francois Messier assured that postponing the Olympics cost Radio Canada dearly, but in the end, given that a large portion of the workforce will remain in the country, no budget overruns are expected.
As usual, former Olympic players have been recruited to cover these games, including Sylvie Fréchette (artistic swimming) and Emily Heymans (diving).
For their part, RDS, RDS2 and RDS Info will deliver 420 hours of live competition.