CBC/TSN ACQUIRE CANADIAN OLYMPIC RIGHTS IN JOINT BID
Published March 20, 1998
CBC "joined forces" with TSN yesterday to sign a "record" US$160M deal for Canadian broadcast rights to the next five Olympic Games, according to Longley & Buffery of the TORONTO SUN. The deal was "a huge win" for the two nets in what "has become a bitter battlefield" for sports rights in Canada. CTV and its planned all-sports network, CTV Sports, "were the losers" in the battle, since the Games "would have provided a solid foothold in the TV sports arena." CBC and TSN paid an average of US$32M per Games, which "eclipses" the previous Canadian high of US$20M, which CBC paid for the '96 Games. CBC Sports President Alan Clark said it would be "terrific if Toronto got" the 2008 Games, "but we didn't bid on that basis." Longley & Buffery add that the partnership means that Canadians "could see as much as" 800 hours of Games coverage through a combination of CBC, TSN, Newsworld, CBC French, and RDS networks (TORONTO SUN, 3/20). Longley adds that the partnership between CBC and TSN "has been in the works for some time," and working together "will help both networks" against CTV's "growing sports threat." With the "ratings success" of the Nagano Games, CBC's Clark is "convinced" that the future Games will be "an easy and profitable sell" (TORONTO SUN, 3/20).