POSTED: May 7th 2014

US$7.65Billion: NBC grabs TV rights for 6 Olympics at 2014 market price

(L to R) Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast, and IOC President Thomas Bach / Patrick Sandusky
(L to R) Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast, and IOC President Thomas Bach / Patrick Sandusky

Right after the announcement about 80 reporters called in to hear the news / Patrick Sandusky
Right after the announcement about 80 reporters called in to hear the news / Patrick Sandusky

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) NBCUniversal (NBCU) has nailed down the US broadcast rights for six Olympics (2021-2032) for a sale price of US$7.65 billion plus a US$100 million signing bonus to promote Olympism between 2015 and 2020. The agreement covers all media platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, internet and mobile.

Present at the meetings today at the IOC headquarters were IOC President Thomas Bach, Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast, Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group, Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympics, Alex Gilady, IOC Member and Vice-President NBC Olympics and representing the USOC were Larry Probst, Chairman, United States Olympic Committee and IOC member, and Scott Blackmun, USOC CEO.

If you do the math this averages out US$1.28 billion per edition of these six upcoming Games which still have to be decided where the destinations will be located. Given the way technology could develop and the way we get our news they could be worth a lot more in 2021, an awful lot more.

According to the IOC looking back to the last deal in 2011 when NBC won the open bidding war for four Games they paid overall US$4.38 billion: Sochi 2014 US$775 million, Rio de Janeiro 2016 US$1.226 billion, PyeongChang 2018 US$963 million, and Tokyo 2020 US$1.418 billion. These average out at US$1.10 billion per edition in the overall package.

After the signing they talked to about 80 reporters from around the world on a conference call. Twitter was on fire as the news hit the media about an hour prior to the call.

IOC President Thomas Bach said, “This agreement is excellent news for the entire Olympic Movement as it helps to ensure its financial security in the long term, in particular future host cities of the Olympic Games, the athletes of the 204 National Olympic Committees and the International Sports Federations.

“The IOC has worked in close partnership with NBC for many decades, and we are thrilled we will continue to work with them through to 2032.

“NBC’s expertise in sports broadcasting, as well as their passion for the Olympic values, will mean we shall be able continue to offer first-class broadcast coverage of the Olympic Games to the widest possible American audience for many years to come.

"Compared to the previous deals, the deal represents an increase of about $1.4 billion -- at least for the IOC, this is not small. This deal is not all about money. You can make a dollar more and risk seeing your product destroyed.”

Scott Blackmun, CEO of the United States Olympic Committee said, “We are thrilled that we will be working side by side with NBC for the next 18 years. This is a good day for American Olympic athletes and hopefuls. NBC's demonstrated ability not only to broadcast the Olympic Games, but to tell the stories of our athletes in a way that makes our nation proud, makes them an ideal partner. We feel very fortunate that they want to make a long-term commitment to the Olympic Movement.”

“The Olympics are the world’s greatest cultural and athletic event, and presenting them to the American audience is an honour and privilege for our entire company,” Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation.  “Our long-term commitment to and investment in the Olympic Movement are a reflection of our belief in the future of broadcast television, as well as our confidence that our partners at the IOC will continue to deliver great Games and that the Olympics will remain the world’s premier sports event.

“All of us at Comcast NBCUniversal are extremely proud that we have been entrusted to be the U.S. home for nine more Olympics, and we look forward to using all of our resources to continue our tradition of ground-breaking Olympic coverage.”

Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal, said, “This is one of the most important days in the history of NBCUniversal. The Olympics are part of the fabric of our company, and we couldn’t be more excited that today’s announcement guarantees that this massively popular and profitable programming will continue to air every two years on the broadcast, cable, digital and mobile platforms of NBCUniversal for the next two decades.

“No event brings families together like the Olympics, and no-one in media is more accomplished or better equipped to tell the athletes’ stories than NBC Sports.

“I want to thank the IOC for their faith in us, as well as Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus and NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel, whose leadership was invaluable in bringing this deal to fruition.”

Keywords · IOC · NBC · Olympics · rights holders · Thomas Bach · Brian Roberts · Mark Lazarus · Gary Zenkel · Alex Gilady · Larry Probst · Scott Blackmun

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

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