POSTED: April 18th 2011
Olympics price tag: Ebersol and Comcast face off
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
TAMPA, Apr 18: The bidding for the US television rights for the upcoming Olympic Games is heating up with American networks weighing the pros and cons of bidding potentially a handful of billions to televise the Games.
NBC has been the longtime network to televise the Games since 2000 and Olympics supremo Dick Ebersol has headed every US Olympic broadcast since the 1988 Seoul Games. It won the rights in June of 2003 for 2010 and 2012 paying a record US$2.2b to televise the Games.
Sources tell the New York Post that Ebersol and Comcast are debating how high to take the bar in the battle of the bids for the two Olympic Games for Sochi 2014 and Rio de Janeiro 2016.
The IOC has held off on the bidding until the networks had recovered from the world wide economic recession.
Bids are due next month at the IOC and there has been talk of negotiating two and four Games packages.
Following Vancouver 2010, General Electric’s head Jeff Immelt said that the network had lost money on the Games. NBC has since been taken over by Comcast and their agenda is focusing on seriously making profit on sports events.
The other issue on the table is taped events versus live events and Richard Carrion, on behalf of the IOC is looking to drive home the point that the Games must be presented live. The way the world follows sports events has greatly changed with the internet and mobility applications and canned prime time viewing may be superseded.
Sports TV giant ESPN apparently has opted for live real time programming.
The IOC will examine the details of the bids and make the final decision in mid to late June prior to the vote for the 2018 Games.
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Laura Walden ()
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