Stokes Behind Seven Network's Campaign To Regain Olympic Broadcast Rights
Kerry Stokes "is one of Australia’s most powerful men," but in a rare show of public emotion "the notoriously private business mogul revealed how much it means to him for Seven Network to regain its crown as the Olympics broadcaster," according to Darren Davidson of THE AUSTRALIAN. The Olympics will return to the No. 1 placed free-to-air network "after an eight-year hiatus." It is understood that Seven paid an estimated A$170M ($158M) deal "for a three-Games package." The cost of the long-term partnership "is considered good value because the contract contains a first right of refusal that allows Seven to bid for the next two Games after the current deal expires." Stokes "could barely hide his delight." Stokes: "I’ve always thought the Olympics were something really important in Australia. It’s what we hold up from 1956 when I was a young man and watching our great athletes run for Australia and win Gold Medals." IOC VP John Coates said he was “very happy with the price” the movement had obtained, although the average had come down compared with previous sets of rights (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/6). In Sydney, Michael Idato wrote IOC President Thomas Bach said that "Seven's experience in the Olympic arena was a factor in securing the deal." Bach: "The IOC enjoys long term partnerships and this agreement is something of a homecoming between us and Seven." The time difference between Australia and Brazil "would have been a major hurdle for all the bidders; most events at the Rio games will fall in Australia's late night or early morning and few would be live to Australian prime-time TV." That time-zone disadvantage "would have softened the value of the deal for the IOC" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/5).