USOC, IOC Revenue Agreement Talks Taking Longer Than Expected
IOC and USOC execs have been “unable to resolve a long-running financial dispute that is blocking any American bid” for the Olympics “despite nearly a year of negotiations,” according to Stephen Wilson of the AP. Both sides had “hoped to reach an agreement on the revenue-sharing issue” by this week's IOC Exec Board meeting, but “now appear resigned to missing that informal deadline and extending the protracted talks into 2012.” IOC Marketing Commissioner Chair Gerhard Heiberg on Friday said, "It is taking longer than what we originally thought." At the “heart of the dispute is a long-standing formula” that gives the USOC a 20% share of global sponsorship revenue and a 12.75% share of U.S. broadcast rights deals. Heiberg will report on the status of the talks “to the executive board, which meets in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Wednesday and Thursday.” He said, "We are close, but the last part of the distance has to be solved and we still hope to solve it. We are not in a hurry." USOC Chair Larry Probst will be in Lausanne this week “for separate meetings of the Association of National Olympic Committees, although no formal talks with the IOC on the revenues are scheduled.” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun, who “has led the negotiations from the American side, will not be in Lausanne.” Blackmun said, "We continue to be communicating in good faith, and it remains a priority for both organizations" (AP, 12/2).