Olympics Television Rights

Sports Media Weekly Podcast No. 59- Olympics Bids

We are a little early this week for the Sports Media Weekly Podcast, but with good reason.

Ken Fang at Fang’s Bites and I discuss the big sports media news story of the day, the awarding of the rights to the 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 Olympics to NBC.

We look at why we think NBC won the bid and what it means for coverage of the Olympic Games through to the next decade.

We also look at why ESPN and Fox were not successful in securing the Olympic bids.

Ken and I also spend time discussing the ratings for the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup Finals.

No guests this week.  We hope to have one for next week.

NBCUniversal Acquires Rights to 2014, 2016, 2018, & 2020 Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced that NBCUniversal has won the right to telecast the Olympic Games in 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020.  NBCUniversal will pay the IOC 4.38 billion dollars for those rights.

“We are honored to continue as the U.S. Olympic broadcaster for the remainder of this decade.”  said Brian Roberts, President & CEO of Comcast in a press release. “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.”

“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with our longstanding partner NBC,” said IOC President Jacque Rogge, “We received three excellent bids and would like to thank each broadcaster for their presentations. In 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.”

At the end of this deal NBC would have telecast a total of 17 Olympic Games, 11 consecutively.

Both ESPN and Fox submitted bids for the rights to the games.  Here is the reaction from ESPN:

“We made a disciplined bid that would have brought tremendous value to the Olympics and would have been profitable for our company. To go any further would not have made good business sense for us. We wish to congratulate the IOC on a fair and transparent process, and we offer our best wishes to Comcast/NBC. We put our best foot forward with a compelling offer that included the enthusiastic participation of all of The Walt Disney Company’s considerable assets.”