NBC, U.S. Olympic Committee Buy Media Rights To Sochi 2014, Rio 2016
The 2014 Sochi and 2016 Rio Paralympic Games will receive 116 combined hours of coverage in the U.S., as NBC Olympics and the U.S. Olympic Committee have partnered to acquire the U.S. media rights to the next two Paralympic Games. NBC and NBCSN will combine to air 50 hours of TV coverage for the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games, starting on March 7 with the Opening Ceremony. It will be followed by daily coverage of all five Paralympic sports in the Sochi program, before the Games' Closing Ceremony is broadcast on March 16. In September '16, NBC and NBCSN will show 66 hours of coverage from the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, an increase of 60.5 hours from the coverage of the 2012 London Paralympics. In addition to the U.S. TV coverage, the USOC will provide live online coverage of both the Sochi and Rio Paralympic Games at TeamUSA.org (IPC). The SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Mickle & Ourand wrote "the deal has been close for the past month." Main deal points "have been agreed upon," but "some minor issues" have to be ironed out, and a formal announcement should follow soon. NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel said, “We look forward to announcing a new partnership with the USOC soon that will provide unprecedented coverage of the Paralympic Winter Games.” Last year, NBC "was criticized by disability groups and the International Paralympic Committee" for not broadcasting more of the 2012 Paralympic Games. NBC paid the IOC $1.2B for the rights to the London Games, but the deal "didn’t include Paralympic rights," and NBC did not acquire them (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/21 issue).