The TV Rules of the 1996 Summer Olympics was of immense importance as fans were given a firsthand view of the games in the most panoramic manner. However it felt to be on site in Atlanta, fans around the world were blissfully unaware of the disorganization and dangers. Their view on television came from the carefully aimed lenses of the host broadcaster—a huge body of producers and technicians assembled by the IOC to feed coverage to NBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and other broadcast organizations. This host group provided what some observers called the best and most innovative camera work in games history. The cameras followed divers from the tower to the bottom of the pool and raced down the track with Perec, Bailey, and Johnson. In some respects, television viewers had better seats than most of the fans in Atlanta.
And many of those 4 billion fans had reason to cheer. There were no boycotts or other exclusions, which gave Atlanta the distinction of being the first games since World War II in which all of the invited countries took part (there were 197 in all). And while the United States did the expected and won the most medals—101 to runner-up Germany’s 65—a total of 79 countries won at least one medal. Ecuador won its first-ever gold medal, as did Syria, Burundi, Thailand, and Hong Kong. The TV Rules of the 1996 Summer Olympics were highly efficient and were intended to give the best in terms of broadcasting to the games.