09/08/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Beach Volleyball's Love/Hate Relationship With Its TV Stardom

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beach volleyball's popularity has created something of a love-hate relationship with television.

The highly-photogenic sport has been a winner for broadcasters at the Olympics, where according to the International Olympic Committee it accumulated 3.5 billion television viewer hours during the Athens Games.

In turn that has raised the profile of beach volleyball, inspired more countries to build up teams, and lured in sponsors.

The downside is that broadcasters start to demand games be played to fit their schedules and in a style that makes better television.

In Beijing, the semi-finals and finals will be played in the morning to catch the all-important evening prime time viewing in the United States and Brazil, where beach volleyball has a wide following.

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