NBC's Olympic Terror. The London Observer reported last week that the U.S. ambassador to Greece, Thomas Miller, voiced "serious concerns" to the Athens Organizing Committee (ATHOC) about security for the Olympics, in the wake of the train bombings in Madrid, Spain, and suggested the U.S. might withdraw from the Games if Athens is not secured. Jim Scherr, the chief of the U.S. Olympic Committee, quickly released a letter that said the report was wrong. The news gave the folks at NBC a scare. The network has pinned its prime-time upfront season on the success of the Olympics-it's moving up the premiere schedule to follow right after the Games. Would Olympic sponsors Coca-Cola Co., Eastman Kodak and Visa International pull out of the NBC broadcast if the U.S pulled out? Would GE's five networks-NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo and Telemundo-still carry at least 1,000 hours of Olympics coverage as planned? Dick Ebersol, chairman, NBC sports and Olympics, quickly put out a statement that read: "For years now we have been in constant communication with Ambassador Miller, including this morning, and at no time publicly or privately has he ever mentioned anything of the sort."
The U.S. did pull out of the games just once before, in 1980 when the administration of Jimmy Carter boycotted the Moscow Olympics protesting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.