CBC Says It Will At Least Break Even On Broadcast From '14 Sochi, '16 Rio Games
The CBC securing the TV rights for the '14 Sochi and '16 Rio de Janeiro Games has "set off speculation in the industry about how the embattled public broadcaster can afford to mount the Games at a price that Canadian private broadcasters said would not work for them," according to Dowbiggin & Chase of the GLOBE & MAIL. CBC Exec VP/English Services Kirstine Stewart has promised that the net "will break even or make a small profit as the Games return to CBC for the first time since 2008." But advertising revenues for Sochi are "expected to be modest due to the nine-hour time difference between the Russian city and the east coast of North America." Rio de Janeiro is in the Eastern time zone, but it will "still require considerable production costs." The CBC maintains that it can "generate more revenue with an Olympics telecast than it might with its usual broadcasting." Also, a "key factor" for the CBC is the ability "to place Olympic programming on its other networks such as CBC Bold and CBC News Network." The cable and satellite industry is "moving toward more choice for consumers," and having the Olympic rights creates a "strong incentive for viewers to pay the fee for channels once they are no longer compulsory." The Games also will allow the CBC to "drive viewership to the official Olympic site and to its streaming services, which are not getting as much attention when competition has the Games" (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/3).