ACOG announced a $30M deal with Australian broadcaster Seven Network for the TV rights to the '96 Games. Billy Payne, ACOG President says the deal is "an important step forward." The deal leaves Japan as the only major country yet to finalize a TV rights deal with ACOG. Organizers expect the Japanese rights, along with some smaller countries, to yield "slightly more than" $100M. ACOG gets 60% of that money. Yesterday's agreement was a joint deal, as Seven Network also acquired the rights for the 2000 Games in Sydney. The total cost for both games was $75M. Seven Network paid $34M to televise the Barcelona Games, but immediately went into receivership. IOC negotiators "conceded that Seven Network had probably paid too much for the rights" (Melissa Turner, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/9).
Pro-Tix's upset of Ticketmaster in the bidding for the Olympic ticket contract is a "David and Goliath tale" that will have "far reaching implications for the ticket industry," according to Melissa Turner of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. Turner calls Pro-Tix a "Ticketmaster wannabe, a speck in an industry virtually owned by the Los Angeles-based ticket giant," and calls the contract, "a bigger coup than national concert tours for the Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., the Rolling Stones and Garth Brooks combined." Pro-Tix's task is "far reaching," as the company must build it's Atlanta operation from it's current contracts with the Center for Puppetry Arts and GA Tech's Theatre for the Arts, to an operation that will sell more than 12.4M Olympic and Cultural Olympiad tickets. IBM figures to be a big help, as they will "manage the ticket program and likely provide computers, technology and a state of the art phone bank -- not to mention clout." According to Turner, if Pro-Tix is successful, it will "soar to the top of the pack of aspiring Ticketmasters," proving "there is ... viable competition in the ticket industry" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/9).