SBD/December 21, 2011/2011 Year in Review
SBD/SBJ's Top Sports Business Stories Of The Year, Part Two
Published December 21, 2011
per year deal with ESPN starting in '14
NBC GOES ALL IN WITH OLYMPICS: The IOC spent almost three years courting networks to bid on its U.S. television rights. Its decision to postpone the process until ‘11 because of the economy turned out to be a boon for the organization. Just weeks after losing its top exec and Olympic champion, Dick Ebersol, NBC bid $4.4B for the rights through ‘20, blowing away its competitors by more than $800M. The deal gives the IOC financial security for the next decade, and NBC the continuity of keeping the Olympic rings tied to the Peacock. Now, can NBC make its massive bet pay off?
TIME WARNER CABLE PLANTS A MAJOR STAKE IN SPORTS: When Time Warner Cable picked off the rights to the Lakers early this year, the cable operator sent a message to every sports right holder in a TWC territory: The company is open for business. Under the direction of Melinda Witmer, the company launched a Time Warner Cable Sports division with high-profile executives David Rone, Mark Shuken and Dan Finnerty. There is no doubt that the company has a seat at the table. It has been monitoring the Dodgers bankruptcy, talking about buying Cleveland RSN SportsTime Ohio and helping to launch the Pac-12’s suite of seven channels.
average of $90M a year for seven years
FARMERS FIELD TAKES ROOT: AEG’s proposed football stadium in downtown L.A., despite being anything but a definite, pulled off a 30-year, $600M naming-rights deal with Farmers Insurance. Farmers Field still awaits a final funding plan, all the necessary government approvals and, not the least of all, an NFL tenant. But the deal helped reinvigorate a naming-rights market that later in the year saw MetLife align with New Meadowlands Stadium.