BBC Closing In On Deal With IOC To Broadcast Future Olympics
The BBC "appears to be closing in on a deal to screen future Olympics," according to Paul Kelso of the London TELEGRAPH. BBC Trust Chair Lord Chris Patten confirmed that talks being "led by outgoing director-general Mark Thompson are progressing." Patten: "Mark is leading those talks and they are happening right now. They (the Olympics) are really important to us." Kelso reports the IOC has "held out against a quick deal with the BBC, which is attempting to deflate the cost in the knowledge that, with existing listed-events legislation, it is the only realistic free-to-air only candidate." The IOC would "love a dream team of a commercial broadcaster and Sky to come to the table, but that looks optimistic" (London TELEGRAPH, 7/11).
UPDATE FROM AUSTRALIA: In Sydney, Michael Bodey wrote the rights to the next Olympics "could be snatched by the Seven Network as Nine may not be in any shape financially to make a bid." The IOC has "yet to enter negotiations with any Australian broadcasters for the rights" to the '14 Sochi Games or the '16 Rio de Janiero Games. Seven regards itself as "the traditional home of the Games, broadcasting five summer Olympics in a row from Barcelona in 1992, until Nine won the London rights." Sources said that Network Ten was "believed to be uninterested in bidding, and Nine might not be in any shape financially to make a bid." Several major sports broadcast deals "are in play over the next 18 months and will likely be more attractive to Australian broadcasters," including the National Rugby League, Cricket Australia, V8 Supercars and the Australian Open (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/9).