SYDNEY, Aug 30 -- U.S. television giant NBC pressured Australian officials Wednesday to remove power lines at the site of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games because they would look ugly to American viewers. After inspecting the Olympic site Tuesday, NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol said he wanted the power lines relocated because they would spoil the view from the Olympic site to Sydney Harbor. New South Wales government Olympics Minister Michael Knight warned the state government would refuse the request. Ebersol, who helped mastermind NBC's deal to pay a record $755 million ($1.02 billion Australian) for the U.S. rights to broadcast the Sydney 2000 Olympics said the wires would 'screw up' the picturesque views of the Games site. 'You sit in a place like this and it's the most extraordinary view in the world,' Ebersol said from the shores of Sydney Harbor. 'If you go out to the Olympic Park you have the same beauty shooting the other way, except every once in a while there's a tower or a wire in the way and it would be nice if it disappeared,' he said. The power lines and towers that connect Sydney's power grid stretch 3 miles (5 km) across the Games site. The lines flank the proposed Games village area and also skirt the Games stadium site. The government announced earlier this month it had scrapped original Games plans to relocate the lines for a saving of $48 million ($65 million Australian). Knight said although he supported Ebersol's views, the government could not afford the realignment.
'We agree with what he is saying, we wousld like for them to to be there,' he said. 'But it's a luxury we can't afford.' Ebersol also said the Australian tourism industry will receive $10 million ($13.5 million Australian) in free advertising on NBC. Ebersol said advertising spots would be available during the broadcast of major sports events -- the Superbowl, National Basketball league finals, U.S. Open Golf and Wimbledon -- for the years leading up to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.