Image via Wikipedia
In the world of high stakes sports media, the battle over Olympic TV sponsorship is one of the true pitched battles. Fox, ESPN/Disney and Comcast-NBC Universal presented to the IOC yesterday.
At the presentation, was Jaques Rogge, President of the IOC and Richard Carrion, CEO of Popular, Inc. a financial investment company.
The previous record was $3.5 billion paid by NBC/Universal for the 2001-2008 Olympic Games. That win was championed by Dick Ebersol, who had won the last 8 bids for TV Olympic rights. Ebersol resigned from Comcast-NBC Universal less than a month ago. For the Comcast-NBC Universal team, Mark Lazurus was brought in, a long time TBS executive. Lazurus headed up the presentation by Comcast-NBC Universal, and has been given high marks.
This is the world series of sports bidding. Brush your shoes, pick the power tie, floss your teeth twice, as nothing can be left to chance.
First presentation was Fox, then ESPN Disney, then, Comcast-NBC Universal.
Carefully orchestrated by Mr. Rogge, a man who has righted a listing ship over his tenure as the el popa of global sports, the presentations were both tedious and symbolic.
As the teams left the presentations, they presented their bids in sealed envelopes.
In the end, Comcast-NBC/Universal won, with a tremendous bid of $4.38 billion for the Olympic events through 2020. Rumored to be a cost cutter, Comcast obviously wanted this prize of prizes in the global sports foodchain, and Mr. Rogge and Mr. Carrian wanted to set a record for TV rights, knowing that the living entity that is the Olympic movement, needs beaucoup d’argent to feed the beast.
The record buy of U.S. TV rights is a tribute to the vision of Mr. Rogge, who has worked, both in front and behind the scenes to clean up some of the unseemly issues that have dirtied the Olympic movement in the past. His major issue is still drugs in sports, but there has been some progress made in that arena.
Rogge understands what he has: the Olympic movement, especially the Summer Olympics, is the cathedral from which nearly five billion people around the world worship sports every four years for 18 days. Nothing comes near it, and if Rogge has his way, nothing ever will.
For more on the Olympic movement, we heartily suggest that you subscribe to insidethegames.biz, as we do!
Live Link to Story:
NBC retain US Olympic television rights after multi-billion dollar deal
Tuesday, 07 June 2011
By Duncan Mackay
7 – NBC have retained the rights to broadcast the Olympics in a $4.38
billion (Â£2.66 billion) deal through until the 2020 Games, it has been
Jacques Rogge, the President of the International
Olympic Committee (IOC), made the announcement that they had beaten
rival bids from Disney’s EPSN and Rupert Mudoch’s Fox Sports during a
The decision follows all three channels
making presentations to a panel of top officials, including Rogge and
Richard Carrion, the Puerto Rican who is the chairman and chief
executive of financial services conglomerate Popular, Inc.
Fox officials made their presentation first yesterday, followed this morning by EPSN and this afternoon by NBC.
At the end of NBC’s presentation, each network placed a sealed envelope containing its bid into a plexiglass box.
deal is valued $775 million (Â£471 million) for Sochi 2014, $1.226
billion (Â£745 million) for Rio 2016, $963 million (Â£585 million) for
2018 and $1.418 billon (Â£862 million) for 2020.
“We had an
obligation to pick the best bid on behalf of the entire Olympic
Movement,” said CarriÃ³n, a member of the IOC’s ruling Executive Board.
assessed each bid against a thorough set of criteria and believe that
the long-term nature of this agreement will not only ensure fantastic
Olympic broadcast coverage in the US, but also support the long-term
financial stability of the Olympic Movement as a whole.
“NBC has proven its worth time and again over the years and we’re very excited to continue working with them.”
who are now majority owned by parent company Comcast with Olympic
worldwide sponsor General Electric having a 49 per cent share, have been
broadcasting the Summer Olympics since Seoul 1988 and the Winter Games
since Salt Lake City in 2002.
Their current deal is due to finish after they have broadcast next year’s Olympics in London.
The new one will cover the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
will also include the 2018 Winter Olympics – which will be held in
either Annecy, Munich or Pyeongchang – and the 2020 Summer Games, for
which Rome is the only confirmed bidder so far.
“We are honoured
to continue as the US Olympic broadcaster for the remainder of this
decade,” said Brian Roberts, the chairman and chief executive of
“The vision for our new Comcast-NBCUniversal was to create new platforms and technologies to distribute the very best content.
“Every two years the Olympic Games provides iconic content for us to deliver on all platforms.
are proud to continue the rich heritage and long association that NBC
has had with the IOC and I personally want to thank President Jacques
Rogge and Richard Carrion for their long-term trust.”
that the rights cover the broadcasting right on “every now known or to
be known” platform, including mobile and tablet.
deal is a coup for Rogge (pictured above centre with Roberts on left
and Carrion on right), who has guaranteed the financial stability of the
IOC beyond his own Presidency, which is due to end when he steps down
“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with our longstanding partner NBC,” he said.
“We received three excellent bids and would like to thank each broadcaster for their presentations.
the end we were most impressed with NBC, which not only has a track
record for broadcasting the Games that speaks for itself, but also has a
clear and innovative vision of where it wants to take the broadcast of
the Games between now and 2020.
“We look forward to continuing to build on our already strong relationship beginning in London next year.”
was NBC’s first Olympic deal since 1988 without Dick Ebersol, the head
of NBC Sports, who resigned last month after helping to engineer eight
He was replaced by former Turner Broadcasting executive Mark Lazarus, who headed NBC’s presentation.
Eight years ago, NBC bid $2.2 billion (Â£1.3 billion) for the 2010 Vancouver Games and the 2012 Summer Games.
NBC outbid Fox, which offered $1.3 billion (Â£790 million).
lost $233 million (Â£142 million) on the Vancouver Olympics, from which
they broadcast 835 hours of coverage across broadcast, cable and online/
It will have an even bigger platform for the next Olympics.
company was acquired by Comcast earlier this year, and now Versus,
Comcast’s cable sports network key, is part of the NBC Sports portfolio.
1995, NBC bid $3.5 billion (Â£2.1 billion) for five Olympics, getting
the Games from 2000 to 2008, when the IOC did not listen to offers from
any other bidders.
ESPN, in a statement after its unsuccessful bid, did not say whether it made a four-Games bid as NBC did with its winning bid.
“To go any further would not have made good business sense for us,” they said.
put our best foot forward with a compelling offer that included the
enthusiastic participation of all of The Walt Disney Company’s
Contact the writer of this story at
June 2011: Rupert Murdoch company wants Olympic TV deal until 2020
June 2011: US networks gather in Lausanne to negotiate TV Olympic rights as IOC hope for multi-billion dollar deal
May 2011: Ebersol resignation does not affect Olympic TV negotiations claim NBC
September 2010: NBC network to televise 200 hours plus from London 2012
June 2010: NBC sets up new Olympic unit for London 2012
Leave a Reply