SBD/September 7, 2012/Media

Mark Lazarus Says NBC Ended Up Breaking Even On London Games

Lazarus says London Games was break-even proposition for NBC
NBC Sports Group Chair Mark Lazarus, speaking at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit in N.Y. on Thursday, said that NBC “broke even” on the London Games, according to Anthony Crupi of ADWEEK. Lazarus said, “From a financial point of view the Games, on a discrete basis, were a break-even proposition for us.” He added the outcome was “far healthier…than we had planned on going in.” Crupi noted NBC “approached the 17-day extravaganza anticipating a $200 million net loss.” The net “booked north of $1 billion in ad inventory, atop which it sprinkled nearly $300 million in affiliate and digital revenue” (ADWEEK.com, 9/6).

TV’S IMPACT: The inaugural Bloomberg Sports Business Summit focused heavily on the mushrooming realm of national and regional TV rights, and its ripple effects throughout the sports industry, particularly on franchise values and merger-and-acquisition markets. But many panelists believed the recent historic run of TV rights increases cannot continue indefinitely, even as live sports continues to grow in importance compared to most other programming. Clarion Capital Managing Partner Marc Utay, whose company bid on the Cubs and Dodgers, said, “Cable operators may soon have trouble passing these costs on to the consumer.” InterMedia Partners Managing Dir Leo Hindery said, "It's that assumption of perpetual ups in traditional media that's a fallacy. It can't be proven to be true." The session drew more than 200 people, and panelists included four league commissioners, Lazarus, Fox Sports Media Group co-President & co-COO Randy Freer, and IMG Sports & Entertainment President George Pyne, among many others.

HOOPS DREAMS: Meanwhile, NBA Commissioner David Stern said at least 10 cities have expressed interest to him in hosting an NBA team and more than a dozen high-net-worth investors are seeking teams. Stern said, "I'm not looking at a lot of (franchise) movement, but I am looking at a lot of price increases simply because when someone offers you a very high price for your assets, you have to decide whether you're in it to pass it on to your family, or if it's an asset that you may love but may not love enough to turn down a very high offer" (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).
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