SBD/February 15, 2011/Media

IOC Expects New U.S. Olympic TV Rights Deal To Be Determined By July

It is unclear if broadcasters will bid for the rights to air two or four Olympic Games
The IOC indicated today that a U.S. broadcasting rights deal for “two or four Olympic Games," starting with the '14 Sochi Olympics, "should be sealed by July,” according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. IOC Finance Commission Chair Richard Carrion said, "I suspect we will have a deal in place by (the IOC session in July) in Durban." The U.S. deal is the IOC's “single biggest revenue source with the 2010-2012 contract with NBC netting about $2 billion for the IOC." It also is the "biggest single deal with one company for sports TV rights.” Carrion said that he “expected the new deal to top that figure.” Grohmann notes it is unclear “whether the new agreement would be the standard two-Games package (one winter and one summer Games) or if it will be a four-Games deal stretching” to ‘20. Carrion said that the IOC “would go into the upcoming negotiations and let the broadcasters" choose the length of the deal. A four-Games deal “would be worth at least $4 billion given the last of the four Olympics will be in nine years' time.” Carrion “ruled out a surprise bid by new media companies and expected only traditional major U.S. broadcasters to take part.” He added that the broadcaster “who bought the rights would handle any Internet interest in their territory for the Olympics” (REUTERS, 2/15).
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