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ABC dumps live Olympics radio coverage

National

The ABC will break with a near seven-decade tradition and not seek radio broadcast rights to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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The national broadcaster has blamed the decision on budgetary pressures.

“This is an incredibly tough decision, especially given our 67-year run as the official non-commercial Olympic Games radio broadcaster,” an ABC spokesman told AAP on Monday.

“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.”

The decision means it will not be providing live commentary of the Tokyo Games on the radio.

It’s a decision dubbed a “national shame” by long-time sports broadcaster Quentin Hull, who tweeted: “The ABC will lose part of its DNA by not being at the Tokyo Olympics”.

“The coverage has always shed a light on amazing stories of not only Australians, but human achievement the world over,” Hull said.

ABC Grandstand commentator Alister Nicholson also expressed his disappointment.

“It’s an absolutely flat feeling walking in to work this morning … it makes me feel empty in the stomach,” Nicholson said.

The ABC still intends to provide daily updates on ABC News and ABC Grandstand.

-AAP

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