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FALLOUT FROM YESTERDAY'S BLOCKBUSTER ANNOUNCEMENT
Published December 13, 1995
More on yesterday's IOC-NBC announcement that the network has purchased rights for the 2004, 2006 and 2008 Olympic Games for a total of $2.3B. DESTINATIONS UNKNOWN: IOC VP Dick Pound said NBC will have no say in where these Games will be awarded, adding that they "will have to trust us to choose the best sites" (Milton Kent, Baltimore SUN, 12/13). Bids for the 2004 Games close in January '96 with a decision expected in '97. Beijing, Rome and South Africa as leading candidates (Mult., 12/13). No 2004-2008 site is expected to be in the U.S. (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/13). Networks prefer Olympics in North America where production costs are lower and because they can air more events in prime time (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/13). USOC Deputy General John Krimsky said to "bet on Rome for 2004" (Philip Hersh, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/13). SPONSORS LOOK LONG-TERM: With NBC owning TV rights through 2008, future sponsors can "expect Olympic officials to push for longer-term deals," according to Henry Unger of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. USOC Exec Dir Dick Schultz: "We see NBC as not only a television partner, but as a marketing partner." Worldwide sponsors who generally sign up for four-year stints, may now be asked to extend to eight years. Coca-Cola spokesperson Randy Donaldson said they have "nothing against" long-term deals, adding, "It's a fairly safe bet that we will be involved with the Olympics wherever they take place going forward." Advantage International's Frank Craighill said it is more likely NBC could join with Olympic officials to package "more complete deals." Kodak spokesperson Charles Smith: "It's great to have consistency and long-term commitments so a company can plan. On the other hand, when you don't know the location of some future Games, the market and all the time zones and implications, it makes everything very judgmental" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/13). NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol said some advertisers have already approached NBC about long-term deals (Elizabeth Jensen, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/13). JUAN'S VISION: The N.Y. TIMES' Jere Longman writes the deal offers "additional political security" for IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, who now "seems certain" to seek re-election in '97. Also noted is Samaranch's Nobel Peace Prize ambitions (N.Y. TIMES, 12/13). Jonathan Yelland writes Samaranch "has effectively underwritten the Olympics for the foreseeable future" (N.Y. POST, 12/13). Turner Sports President Harvey Schiller, former USOC Exec Dir: "Samaranch is making a statement to his organization that he's stabilized the Olympic movement as far into the future as people can see" (Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY, 12/13).