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CBS HAS EYE ON PROFIT FOR GAMES; NHL AT OLYMPICS DEBATED
Published November 25, 1997
CBS will sell "roughly" $610M in advertising for the Nagano Winter Olympics, and between the network and its O&Os, "total profit may approach" $100M, according to Steve McCellan of BROADCASTING & CABLE. CBS TV Network President of Sales Joe Abruzzese said that CBS, to date, has sold $530M in ad sales with another $20M to be sold before the start of the Games. McClellan adds that CBS "may make a profit" of $30-40M on the Olympics, while the O&Os will sell about $60M in advertising, "virtually all of which falls to the bottom line." CBS also is selling the time for TNT's 50-hours of Olympic programming. CBS is "guaranteeing" a 19.7 primetime rating to advertisers, "far lower" than the 27.8 that the '94 Games drew. Also, "fewer advertisers are spending money." In '94, 95 advertisers spent $360M at the Lillehammer Games, while 33 advertisers are spending $530M for Nagano. Abruzzese said that the average price for a 30-second spot is about $500,000 but it could cost as much as $800,000 per unit (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 11/24 issue). THE NHL AT THE OLYMPICS: With some NHL players criticizing the personnel of teams participating in the Nagano Games, columnist Gare Joyce wrote, "The theory: With the five-ring pageantry, the NHL is staging its Olympic tournament as a coronation on ice. The reality: With its dissenters and power brokers the tournament will have a lot more in common with a political convention, which is to say, NHL business as usual. The consequences: The reality will be too plain to the viewers at home and to the keepers of the flame. As a result, the NHL will go to the Olympics only once" (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/22). In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont called on players to end disputes, and added that the NHL "needs the Olympics, far more than the [NBA] ever needed its Dream Teamers. This is the NHL's chance to get its game in a fine romance with the world" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/23).