(Reuters) -U.S. Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Comcast Corp NBCUniversal executives on Tuesday raising concerns asking “about the level of influence the Chinese Communist Party and the International Olympic Committee has in NBC’s 2022 Winter Olympics programming.”
The letter was addressed to NBCUniversal Chief Executive Jeff Shell and NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel. It was made public on Tuesday by Republican leaders of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee Republican leaders.
The United States and other governments have announced a diplomatic boycott of the games, citing the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups, which the United States has deemed genocide. China denies the allegations of human rights abuses.
NBCUniversal, which paid $7.65 billion for the rights to air the Olympics through 2032, said last week https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/nbcuniversal-says-will-cover-geopolitical-issues-during-beijing-olympics-2022-01-19 its broadcast coverage would include “geopolitical” issues, but the stories of athletes would remain the centerpiece of its coverage.
Human rights groups had pressured the media company to cover China’s alleged abuses during its broadcast. The Congressional-Executive Commission on China also addressed a letter to NBCUniversal in December urging it discuss China’s crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong during the event.
Asked for comment, NBCU pointed to a presentation last week when it said its Olympics coverage “will provide perspective on China’s place in the world.”
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by David Gregorio)