SBD/June 11, 2013/Media

Roberts Touts Sochi Games Coverage Plans During Opening Of Cable Convention

The contentious topic of sports rights has taken a backseat to new TV services and entertainment programming at this year's annual cable convention, which is being held in DC. But that did not stop Comcast Chair & CEO Brian Roberts from touting his company's plans to cover the '14 Sochi Games. Speaking before a crowd of several hundred at the Opening General Session, Roberts said, "Go back 20 years. There were only a few hundred hours of live coverage on television. What will happen in Sochi this winter will be literally 10 times what was done just a few Olympics ago. We'll have multiple networks, you can watch live or in primetime. We'll have social media heavily engaged." Roberts reiterated that the added digital content did not hurt NBC's TV ratings during last summer's London Games. Roberts: "Comcast had 50 million On Demand streams of Olympic content from London. And we had higher television ratings, even with all these other choices than we did four years before in Beijing. We have high expectations that when you have big events or big shows or you see the way the launch of a new series occurs with binge viewing, television becomes more personalized to you. We as distributors and we as producers have to embrace that."
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