SBD/January 19, 2012/Media

IOC Considers Options After Deeming Bids For Canadian TV Rights Too Low

Initial offer reportedly less than half previous amount of C$153M for ‘10 and ‘12 Games
The IOC is “considering its options after failing to get what it considers fair value for Canadian TV rights to the next two Games from a combined Bell Media/CBC consortium,” according to Bruce Dowbiggin of the GLOBE & MAIL. Sources said that “the initial offer bid was for less than half the previous amount” of the C$153M paid for the ‘10 Vancouver Games and ‘12 London Games, whereas the IOC “is looking for approximately” C$100M. The broadcasters said that they “remain in discussions and are waiting for the IOC to make the next move.” However, the IOC “waits for the networks to come back to the table with a better offer.” Compounding matters is “the question of whether NHL players will participate in Sochi.” CTV President of Sports & Exec VP/Programming Phil King said via e-mail, “It's a big issue for sure, but not the only one.” Dowbiggin reports logistics in Sochi, including “security and an eight-hour time difference to Toronto are other issues that have been raised.” Complicating matters further, the current Canadian consortium package “lost money in Vancouver and is expected to do so as well this summer in London.” Rogers Communications “declined to participate in the bidding” (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/19). In Toronto, Rick Westhead cited two sources as saying that Bell/CBC "offered about $70 million for the Canadian rights to Sochi and Rio." The nets "asked the IOC for permission to submit two offers -- one with NHL players participating in Sochi and one without." However, IOC Dir of TV & Marketing Services Timo Lumme said that that "wasn't acceptable." Meanwhile, Rogers execs said that the company is "no longer interested in the Olympics" after losing money on Vancouver. Rogers Media President Keith Pelley: "It's a disciplined approach that allows us to pursue new opportunities to best serve our viewers, shareholders and advertisers" (TORONTO STAR, 1/17).
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