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Volume 7 No. 149
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Increased Broadcast Rights Revenue Allow IOC To Build Up $558M Reserve

The IOC announced that revenue from "selling broadcasting rights for the Olympic Games between '14 and '16 is expected to top" $4B, and sponsorship revenues also is “on the rise,” according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. IOC President Jacques Rogge said, "For the period 2014-16 we already have $3.6B, and it should reach and exceed $4B. TV rights totaled $2.2B for the period 2002-04." He added, "The financial situation is strong and safe. Since Dec. 31, 2001 our reserves have grown" from $105M to $558M, an increase of $453M. The IOC has also “seen a growth in revenues from sponsors" with its '13-16 TOP program, which is expected to generate $1B "for the first time." Rogge said that the ‘17-20 program has “already brought in" $722M with seven sponsors. The same program had been worth $663M for '01-04 (REUTERS, 7/24). The AP noted the IOC’s financial situation “remains solid despite the global economic crisis.” Still, the financial reserves are “actually down" from $592M reported at the previous IOC session a year ago. The decline is “likely due to fluctuations in currency exchange rates” (AP, 7/24). 

READY OR NOT, HERE THEY COME! The AP’s Stephen Wilson noted the Royal Opera House last night held a “star-studded Olympic gala,” and London Mayor Boris Johnson “brought the house down with his bombastic recital -- in ancient Greek -- of a Pindaric Ode for the London Games.” Rogge said, "I am confident the games will capture the spirit of this great cosmopolitan city." LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe said, "The city is ready. The venues are ready. Soon the athletes will be ready" (AP, 7/24).

STAYING TOGETHER: Rogge and International Paralympic Committee President Philip Craven signed an agreement that ensures the Paralympic Games will be held in the same city as the Olympic Games through '20. The two presidents extended the current agreement that was signed in June '06, and was good through the '16 Games. The new agreement will be good through the '18 PyeongChang Winter Games and the '20 Summer Games to be held in either Istanbul, Madrid or Tokyo (Paralympic Games).

CHEAP LABOR: In London, Simon Neville reported that Olympics merchandise is being produced "in sweatshop conditions" with staff earning as little as £6 ($9) a day, despite organizers "promising to clean up its supply chain." One of the factories investigated was the Xinda facility in the Guangdong district in southern China, "where 25 million plastic figures of Olympics mascots Wenlock and Mandeville were made for LOCOG." The report has been issued by Hong Kong workers' rights group Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (GUARDIAN, 7/23).