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Quaker2001

NBC Retains Olympic rights through 2020

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The IOC obviously knows that NBC proved itself in delivering the goods when it comes to presentation, programming, and ratings of the Olympics here in the United States and wants to stay committed to what NBC does since 1988. Too many unknowns exists for ESPN/ABC in the minds of the IOC members. I wonder do they like the idea of ESPN Sportscenter presenters getting involved and deviating the normal course made by NBC all these years.

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Hey, if they want to spend that much, then so be it. Just happy FOX, didn't win.

Any word on what the other networks offered?

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The IOC obviously knows that NBC proved itself in delivering the goods when it comes to presentation, programming, and ratings of the Olympics here in the United States and wants to stay committed to what NBC does since 1988. Too many unknowns exists for ESPN/ABC in the minds of the IOC members. I wonder do they like the idea of ESPN Sportscenter presenters getting involved and deviating the normal course made by NBC all these years.

I think this is totally wrong. The IOC had no reason to fear that ESPN or Fox would do any worse of a job than NBC. In fact, I'm sure the IOC would love it if there was a "Olympic SportsCenter" on ESPN, and I really don't think there would be any reason to doubt Fox's capability to televise the event. Fact is, the IOC doesn't really care how the Games are presented on U.S. television. Even if it was on Versus or TruTV or whatever, the Games would get big ratings.

The fact is, you don't need to look far to determine why the IOC chose the Peacock. Hint: it rhymes with "honey."

Rogge said this deal shores up the IOC's finances for the next decade. Fox and Disney didn't even come close to the dollar figures of NBC's bid. That's all you need to know if want to figure out why NBC won.

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I think this is totally wrong. The IOC had no reason to fear that ESPN or Fox would do any worse of a job than NBC. In fact, I'm sure the IOC would love it if there was a "Olympic SportsCenter" on ESPN, and I really don't think there would be any reason to doubt Fox's capability to televise the event. Fact is, the IOC doesn't really care how the Games are presented on U.S. television. Even if it was on Versus or TruTV or whatever, the Games would get big ratings.

The fact is, you don't need to look far to determine why the IOC chose the Peacock. Hint: it rhymes with "honey."

Rogge said this deal shores up the IOC's finances for the next decade. Fox and Disney didn't even come close to the dollar figures of NBC's bid. That's all you need to know if want to figure out why NBC won.

That has to be one of the most outright false statements I've ever read on these boards, and trust me, that's really saying something.

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That has to be one of the most outright false statements I've ever read on these boards, and trust me, that's really saying something.

Really? What makes you think the IOC cares whether or not the Games are shown live in the U.S? Or with endless commercials? Or with incessant fluff and filler?

The mere fact that NBC continues to win these auctions proves that the IOC cares not a whit about these things.

Yes, they need the Games to be on American TV, and I'm sure they'd prefer over-the-air rather than cable, but beyond that, <b>they do not care.</b> How anyone paying attention over the last 20 years can possibly come to a different conclusion is mind-boggling.

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Really? What makes you think the IOC cares whether or not the Games are shown live in the U.S? Or with endless commercials? Or with incessant fluff and filler?

The mere fact that NBC continues to win these auctions proves that the IOC cares not a whit about these things.

Yes, they need the Games to be on American TV, and I'm sure they'd prefer over-the-air rather than cable, but beyond that, <b>they do not care.</b> How anyone paying attention over the last 20 years can possibly come to a different conclusion is mind-boggling.

The Olympic Games is the most valuable brand in the world. Period. Full stop. Bar none. 94% of people in the world know what the Olympic Rings mean. No other brand has that kind of recognition. Nor does any other brand have the unprecedented good will that people (obviously not the ones on these boards) associate with the Games.

The IOC isn't just looking for someone to show their sports competitions in the US. They're looking for a storytelling partner, that will help them sell their story to the largest captive audience in the world. Now, are they charging too much? Maybe. I don't really think so, but that isn't the point of this post.

The Olympic Games are, to an overwhelming majority of people around the world (again, people on this board don't count), a magical and wondrous global event, that fosters peace, unity, and global friendship. How do people come to believe that? Certainly they don't do it by going to the Games and seeing them for themselves. They think that because of what is shown to them on television. And what is shown to them on TV has to be just right . . . not too much sports focus or people lose interest, but not too much of a personal focus or people get drained (Albertville '92, anyone?). That mix has to be just right, and that's something that both the IOC and Dick Ebersol came to understand. The IOC knows that the coverage has to be engaging, it has to keep you interested.

The right coverage along with the right content create a positive viewer experience. That, in turn, build the Olympic brand equity. That then attracts the many sponsors that the IOC turns away every day. I don't think there is a company that would not love to able to connect themselves with the Olympic Games. It's a simple fact that anyone in the marketing industry will agree to. Look at Coke, for example. Coke is sold in more countries than there are that compete in the Games (sometimes), are they an Olympic sponsor so that you'll go out and buy more Coke? No, they're an Olympic sponsor so that when you open up that Olympic branded Coke can, you'll feel even better about Coke than you already did. The equity found in brand association with Olympic Games is worth its weight in gold, and it comes from what is produced and aired by networks all around the world.

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The Olympic Games is the most valuable brand in the world. Period. Full stop. Bar none. 94% of people in the world know what the Olympic Rings mean. No other brand has that kind of recognition. Nor does any other brand have the unprecedented good will that people (obviously not the ones on these boards) associate with the Games.

The IOC isn't just looking for someone to show their sports competitions in the US. They're looking for a storytelling partner, that will help them sell their story to the largest captive audience in the world. Now, are they charging too much? Maybe. I don't really think so, but that isn't the point of this post.

The Olympic Games are, to an overwhelming majority of people around the world (again, people on this board don't count), a magical and wondrous global event, that fosters peace, unity, and global friendship. How do people come to believe that? Certainly they don't do it by going to the Games and seeing them for themselves. They think that because of what is shown to them on television. And what is shown to them on TV has to be just right . . . not too much sports focus or people lose interest, but not too much of a personal focus or people get drained (Albertville '92, anyone?). That mix has to be just right, and that's something that both the IOC and Dick Ebersol came to understand. The IOC knows that the coverage has to be engaging, it has to keep you interested.

The right coverage along with the right content create a positive viewer experience. That, in turn, build the Olympic brand equity. That then attracts the many sponsors that the IOC turns away every day. I don't think there is a company that would not love to able to connect themselves with the Olympic Games. It's a simple fact that anyone in the marketing industry will agree to. Look at Coke, for example. Coke is sold in more countries than there are that compete in the Games (sometimes), are they an Olympic sponsor so that you'll go out and buy more Coke? No, they're an Olympic sponsor so that when you open up that Olympic branded Coke can, you'll feel even better about Coke than you already did. The equity found in brand association with Olympic Games is worth its weight in gold, and it comes from what is produced and aired by networks all around the world.

I understand what you're saying, but I disagree. I've seen coverage in other countries. They do far less storytelling, and the coverage is live. I personally believe that the Australian and Canadian coverage is superior to what NBC provides based upon what I've seen. What you're describing is an American packaging model designed to attract the widest possible viewing audience so that NBC can charge the highest possible advertising rates. From IOC's perspective, I don't think that model is more or less attractive than a more purist sports-oriented approach. I would think that as long as it's tasteful and doesn't disparage the IOC or host nation, the IOC is probably fine with it.

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They think that because of what is shown to them on television. And what is shown to them on TV has to be just right . . . not too much sports focus or people lose interest, but not too much of a personal focus or people get drained (Albertville '92, anyone?). That mix has to be just right, and that's something that both the IOC and Dick Ebersol came to understand. The IOC knows that the coverage has to be engaging, it has to keep you interested.

You're missing my point. Of course NBC strives to maximize its ratings; and of course the IOC wants NBC to maximize its ratings to the extent that it means bidders at the next auction will be more willing to empty their pockets.

But it's NBC that exclusively decides how to balance "sports focus" and "personal focus." Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they get it wrong (from a ratings perspective, that is; in my view NBC just achieves varying levels of wrong).

You, on the other hand, are imagining the IOC and Ebersol working hand in hand to ensure a perfect balance of human-interest features and taped event coverage. That's ludicrous. NBC decides how to maximize its ratings, and the IOC has no say, except when it comes time to accept or reject the next bid.

Think about it: If the IOC had the role you envisage, would they have signed off on NBC's Atlanta plan? With about 45 minutes of total daily coverage, including both sports and fluff? You think that maximized the Olympic brand equity? No way.

It's precisely BECAUSE the Olympic brand has such extraordinary prestige that the IOC doesn't need to concern itself with the internal strategies of rights-holders. The Olympic brand is so powerful that it will thrive no matter what sports/fluff balance is struck.

The equity found in brand association with Olympic Games is worth its weight in gold, and it comes from what is produced and aired by networks all around the world.

Right. And yet, outside of the US, "what is aired by networks all around the world" is mostly live event coverage, and minimal fluff. Has the brand equity of the Olympic Movement suffered in these other countries? No; it's thrived. Which proves my point: the IOC doesn't care how NBC does its thing. It just wants the money. (To be clear, I'm not blaming them for this approach. I mean, someone's gotta pay for the hundreds of luxury suites and private jets, right?)

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Think about it: If the IOC had the role you envisage, would they have signed off on NBC's Atlanta plan? With about 45 minutes of total daily coverage, including both sports and fluff? You think that maximized the Olympic brand equity? No way.

Huh? What are you talking about, "45 minutes of total daily coverage"?

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Huh? What are you talking about, "45 minutes of total daily coverage"?

It was an exaggeration. :rolleyes:

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The IOC obviously knows that NBC proved itself in delivering the goods when it comes to presentation, programming, and ratings of the Olympics here in the United States and wants to stay committed to what NBC does since 1988. Too many unknowns exists for ESPN/ABC in the minds of the IOC members. I wonder do they like the idea of ESPN Sportscenter presenters getting involved and deviating the normal course made by NBC all these years.

Or to paraphase, NBC offered more cash! :D

I think it's a shame really as US coverage of the Olympics really needs shaking up and a new broadcaster would have done that - I just don't think NBC are open to taking the risk of showing events live rather than packaging most of it to air when they want too. It's easy though to say they'll show everything live when it's in their time zone!

And no way should the US or any other country in North or South America get the games in 2020. They're having one in their timezone - they don't need two! With South Africa ruled out, I'd say it's between Asia and Europe for 2020. Not quite up to speed on the candidates but with the likes of Rome and possibly Madrid/Paris in the picture (and who knows, perhaps a German bid if 2018 fails), plus possibly Tokyo and Doha, I don't think the US would get a look in anyway.

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that the Australian and Canadian coverage is superior to what NBC provides based upon what I've seen.

Americans have shorter attention spans in sports viewing...therefore, you have to catch THEM & hook them in whichever way you can. I don't think there's as much competition to the Olympic telecasts in Oz or Canada or most of the other countries.

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I understand what you're saying, but I disagree. I've seen coverage in other countries. They do far less storytelling, and the coverage is live. I personally believe that the Australian and Canadian coverage is superior to what NBC provides based upon what I've seen. What you're describing is an American packaging model designed to attract the widest possible viewing audience so that NBC can charge the highest possible advertising rates. From IOC's perspective, I don't think that model is more or less attractive than a more purist sports-oriented approach. I would think that as long as it's tasteful and doesn't disparage the IOC or host nation, the IOC is probably fine with it.

Yes, I should have stated that it was an American-specific model. The IOC knows what works in the US, and they want a partner than can deliver it best. I don't think they care about a "sports-oriented approach" at all; they simply want the best coverage for their business.

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You're missing my point. Of course NBC strives to maximize its ratings; and of course the IOC wants NBC to maximize its ratings to the extent that it means bidders at the next auction will be more willing to empty their pockets.

But it's NBC that exclusively decides how to balance "sports focus" and "personal focus." Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they get it wrong (from a ratings perspective, that is; in my view NBC just achieves varying levels of wrong).

You, on the other hand, are imagining the IOC and Ebersol working hand in hand to ensure a perfect balance of human-interest features and taped event coverage. That's ludicrous. NBC decides how to maximize its ratings, and the IOC has no say, except when it comes time to accept or reject the next bid.

Think about it: If the IOC had the role you envisage, would they have signed off on NBC's Atlanta plan? With about 45 minutes of total daily coverage, including both sports and fluff? You think that maximized the Olympic brand equity? No way.

It's precisely BECAUSE the Olympic brand has such extraordinary prestige that the IOC doesn't need to concern itself with the internal strategies of rights-holders. The Olympic brand is so powerful that it will thrive no matter what sports/fluff balance is struck.

Right. And yet, outside of the US, "what is aired by networks all around the world" is mostly live event coverage, and minimal fluff. Has the brand equity of the Olympic Movement suffered in these other countries? No; it's thrived. Which proves my point: the IOC doesn't care how NBC does its thing. It just wants the money. (To be clear, I'm not blaming them for this approach. I mean, someone's gotta pay for the hundreds of luxury suites and private jets, right?)

I think you're reading a little too much into my post. I was simply saying that the IOC knows when NBC gets it right and when they get it wrong in their coverage. They look at the ratings, they know what works. Then, when it comes time for a new network, the IOC looks at who can best deliver what they want (and who will pay the most to do so). I wasn't trying to suggest Ebersol and Rogge held hands while storyboarding out the top stories for each Games.

Also, the coverage in each country is different, as it must be. I'm simply talking about what works in America. If America was more focused on the Olympic sports outside of swimming, gymnastics, and basketball, then you would probably see more of a direct sports focus. Without the "fluff" there is nothing holding the audience in place.

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Americans have shorter attention spans in sports viewing...therefore, you have to catch THEM & hook them in whichever way you can.

True, but the problem isn't the short attention span of the average American viewer, it's the fact that the entire Olympic Movement is dependent on NBC's cash.

NBC, having paid exorbitant sums to obtain domestic rights, must squeeze every last advertising dollar out of its coverage. That means delaying the most popular events until prime time, and it means lots of commercials around the clock. If they don't do that, they lose money, their shares tank, and people get fired.

Now, NBC does these things out of necessity to get a return on its investment, but they have nothing to do with the average American's attention span. For example, if CBC or the BBC were for-profit companies seeking a robust ROI, they might also delay major events until primetime and squeeze 15 minutes of ads into every hour. They'd make a lot of money that way. Even though the attention span of the average Canadian or Briton may be lengthier than that of an average American.

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1. NBC, having paid exorbitant sums to obtain domestic rights, must squeeze every last advertising dollar out of its coverage.

2. That means delaying the most popular events until prime time, and it means lots of commercials around the clock. If they don't do that, they lose money, their shares tank, and people get fired.

3. Now, NBC does these things out of necessity to get a return on its investment, but they have nothing to do with the average American's attention span. For example, if CBC or the BBC were for-profit companies seeking a robust ROI, they might also delay major events until primetime and squeeze 15 minutes of ads into every hour. They'd make a lot of money that way. Even though the attention span of the average Canadian or Briton may be lengthier than that of an average American.

1. WHy do you think they they're called Nothing But Commercials?

2. I have NO problem with that. It's not like I have to see every known or unknown athlete do their sweaty thing when it happens.

3. Huh? Maybe my mind is tired, but I still don't get your argument...

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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I think this is totally wrong. The IOC had no reason to fear that ESPN or Fox would do any worse of a job than NBC. In fact, I'm sure the IOC would love it if there was a "Olympic SportsCenter" on ESPN, and I really don't think there would be any reason to doubt Fox's capability to televise the event. Fact is, the IOC doesn't really care how the Games are presented on U.S. television. Even if it was on Versus or TruTV or whatever, the Games would get big ratings.

It makes a HUGE difference how they're covered and the IOC knows that. Yes, NBC won the bid because they offered the most money, but why do you think they asked the networks to make 2 hour presentations instead of just handing them an envelope. They could have done that over the phone without everyone flying out to Switzerland. I'm with Citizen Seth on this one. No one says NBC always gets it right, but I think the IOC did have some fears over Fox or ESPN/ABC coming in and not doing the event as well. Obviously it's a moot point that they didn't have the highest bid, but again, to say the IOC only cares about money and nothing else is far from the truth. Just because NBC is winning when their bids are blowing everyone else out of the water (stupidly, at that) is NOT proof that the IOC doesn't care about how the games are presented.

Americans have shorter attention spans in sports viewing...therefore, you have to catch THEM & hook them in whichever way you can. I don't think there's as much competition to the Olympic telecasts in Oz or Canada or most of the other countries.

Thank you, that's it right there. Americans have baseball and basketball and football to keep us occupied. Unless you hype these stories and athletes to death, what do they mean to the US audience? Why watch Michael Phelps or Evan Lysacek when LeBron James and Tom Brady are out there. It's not like in other countries where they follow these athletes on a regular basis. I bet you most Americans couldn't tell you a single competition other than the Olympics that Michael Phelps has ever competed in.

NBC, having paid exorbitant sums to obtain domestic rights, must squeeze every last advertising dollar out of its coverage. That means delaying the most popular events until prime time, and it means lots of commercials around the clock. If they don't do that, they lose money, their shares tank, and people get fired.

Now, NBC does these things out of necessity to get a return on its investment, but they have nothing to do with the average American's attention span. For example, if CBC or the BBC were for-profit companies seeking a robust ROI, they might also delay major events until primetime and squeeze 15 minutes of ads into every hour. They'd make a lot of money that way. Even though the attention span of the average Canadian or Briton may be lengthier than that of an average American.

That's good old-fashioned American capitalism for you. Would Fox not try and squeeze every last advertising dollar out of its coverage if they got the games? NBC made a $100 million profit on Beijing, so it's not like they had to go to extreme measures to make money. The fact of the matter is that these American networks compete with each other in a way that no other country does, so that drives the price up. You can't fault NBC for trying to make a return on their investment, especially since when for all the complaining you hear about, a large number of people are watching NBC's coverage.

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You can't fault NBC for trying to make a return on their investment, especially since when for all the complaining you hear about, a large number of people are watching NBC's coverage.

This is so true. I had to laugh as I was reading the comments on the New York Times story today:

http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/sports/nbc-wins-tv-rights-to-next-four-olympics.html

59 comments, and every one of them is complaining about NBC's coverage. Yet with the amount of detail ABOUT NBC's coverage in the comments, it's obvious that most of these people are still watching.

Ultimately, I think what we'll get with this new deal is the major events shown live on the internet, with the first TV airing on the primetime broadcast. That's a good compromise--the diehards can watch the live coverage at 3am on the internet, and everyone else can watch it in primetime.

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I wasn't surprised when I found out the news. I was bored instead. I would have preferred ABC/ESPN, if that meant that they would show live coverage (at least on ESPN).

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I wasn't surprised when I found out the news. I was bored instead. I would have preferred ABC/ESPN, if that meant that they would show live coverage (at least on ESPN).

But we're still getting every event live starting in 2014; seems like a win-win to me.

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59 comments, and every one of them is complaining about NBC's coverage. Yet with the amount of detail ABOUT NBC's coverage in the comments, it's obvious that most of these people are still watching.

Ultimately, I think what we'll get with this new deal is the major events shown live on the internet, with the first TV airing on the primetime broadcast. That's a good compromise--the diehards can watch the live coverage at 3am on the internet, and everyone else can watch it in primetime.

Most are watching, others are just bitching. My personal favorite is the 1 guy who said that Vancouver ratings crashed because of Bob Costas. Yea, tell that to the folks are American Idol.

I'm fine with that compromise. I know a lot of people are saying that online isn't as good as TV and who knows if Comcast will hold content hostage and/or make us pay for it. But at least if the option is there, I'm fine with that. And I think that's a perfect strategy to get someone like me to watch an event twice. Like I've said, I'd rather have NBC trying to improve their product instead of ESPN or Fox starting from scratch.

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I'm fine with it too. Frankly, I'm glad NBC won. And I'm not surprised. As I said in previous posts -- they had the most to lose.

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But we're still getting every event live starting in 2014; seems like a win-win to me.

Yeah but you know they'll shove it online. And because of the stupid paranoia we get stuck with horrible broken "authentication" systems that don't work, and people who are interested the ones that matter because they're seeking out the coverage are forced to find pirate streams or look for it on YouTube, and they don't see the NBC ads anyway. I don't consider it win-win at all.

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