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NBC'S SNEAK ATTACK -- WINNERS AND LOSERS
Published August 9, 1995
The winners and losers of NBC's successful bid for the Sydney and Salt Lake Games are examined by Michele Greppi in this morning's N.Y. POST. Greppi calls NBC, CNBC, America's Talking, NBC's 200+ local affiliates, and the host cities "Winners." Among the losers: the USOC -- which "may have cooled" other broadcasters to televising preliminary and peripheral events by "going so whole-hog for NBC;" ABC; Fox, "which coveted the Australia Summer Games, but didn't see an NBC deal coming;" and CBS, "which may never again be able to assemble the requisite number of zeros to get back in the Games" (N.Y. POST, 8/9). CYNICS COME OUT: "Cynics along Broadcast Row and Madison Avenue don't believe the NBC television network stands a chance of recouping" its investment, writes Kevin Goldman in this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL. Goldman notes "media-buying experts say it is doubtful that ad prices will increase enough to cover NBC's winning bid." NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol: "There are many ways for us to get our numbers. There are other ways that will unfold in the next 18 months." NBC increased ad rates for the '96 Games to $240,000 per .30 second spot -- up 43% from its $168,300 rate in Barcelona. This deal represents a 54% increase for NBC in rights fees. However, Jon Mandel, Sr VP/Dir of National Broadcasting at Grey Advertising says the market for ad rates and rights fees are "in two different places." Mandel: "Just because rights fees go up as much as 54% doesn't mean ad rates will have to rise that much. And it's doubtful they will" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/9). ALONG THE WASATCH: Reaction to the deal in Salt Lake City was "wide-eyed astonishment" according to Mike Gorrell in the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Gorrell writes that the deal was not only $89M more than budgeted by the SLOOC, but "will enhance the prospects of securing lucrative sponsorships from corporations whose advertising campaigns will try to capitalize on the continuity of NBC carrying consecutive games" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 8/8). An editorial in this morning's TRIBUNE: "It's almost too good to be true. ... Arduous tasks still lie ahead, but the quite pleasant outlook on the money needed to do them is profoundly welcome" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 8/9). AFTERSHOCKS: In his media column, Steve Zipay writes that these "truths in the world of sports business" have emerged after NBC's deal: "the battlefield for the television rights to big- event sports programming is bloody and brutal; the available prizes are shrinking fast; the only rule is: There are no rules." Zipay adds: "The grand irony in all this is that ... major league baseball could end up the luckiest. There may even be a windfall." Zipay notes that Fox and ABC will now have "more money to play with," and CBS "cannot be discounted" (NEWSDAY, 8/9). In his media column, the BOSTON HERALD's Jim Baker notes "one offshoot is that Bob Costas, Greg Gumbel and others will be motivated to gloss over NBC's loss of baseball and stick for its parade of plums" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/8).