SBD/Issue 204/Sports Media
Ebersol Believes USOC's Plans For TV Net Could Hurt Chicago Bid
Published July 13, 2009
|Ebersol Feels Possibility Of USOC
Network Jeopardizes Chicago's Bid
LET'S TALK IT OVER: A USOC official said that plans are "being made for talks" between the IOC and USOC, though there is "no word on when meetings might be scheduled to resolve the differences." However, IOC Marketing Commission Chair Gerhard Heiberg said that the U.S. Olympic Network "can be a plus for the U.S." Heiberg: "They have been talking about this for a long time and finally they launch it. I hope and think it will be a positive thing for the U.S. It will draw a lot of attention to the Olympic Games and Olympic sports." Heiberg added that he "does not believe the Olympic TV channel could spell trouble for the Chicago 2016 bid." Heiberg: "I don't think it will have an impact on the voting of IOC members. If it should, it might even be positive. ... The U.S. is putting more emphasis on Olympic sports." IOC member Gunilla Lindberg added, "It is always good to keep the profile up every year for the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement" (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 7/10). DAILY VARIETY's Cynthia Littleton noted the "question of whether the IOC can block the USOC from moving forward with the channel remains up in the air" (VARIETY.com, 7/12).
STAYING THE COURSE: The AP's Eddie Pells reported NBC "plans on bidding for rights to televise the 2014 and 2016 Olympics" despite the new network. NBC Sports Senior Dir of Communications Brian Walker yesterday said that "nothing had changed in the network's intentions to bid for the games." The IOC is likely to postpone bidding for the two Games "until after the 2016 Games are awarded in October." NBC has televised every Olympic Games since '00 (AP, 7/12).