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Olympics-Spain's RTVE wins 2014/16 Games TV rights

BERLIN, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Spanish state broadcaster RTVE has won national broadcasting rights for the 2014 winter and 2016 summer Games, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.

The deal is worth just over 70 million euros ($100 million), according to an IOC source.

Spain is one of six European countries where rights are being directly negotiated by the IOC. For the other nations, the 2014/16 rights have been sold to SportFive sports agency, owned by France's Lagardere media group.

The IOC reached rights agreements in Turkey and Italy last year but deals have yet to be signed in Germany, Britain and France.

RTVE has acquired the rights across all broadcast platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, radio, the internet and mobile phones.

"We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with RTVE, who have done a fantastic job for many years promoting the magic of the Olympic Games across Spain and helping to promote Olympic sports," IOC President Jacques Rogge said in a statement.

The IOC says Olympic broadcasts must reach the broadest possible audience across all these platforms, including guaranteed free-to-air television coverage.

The IOC late last year severed ties with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) after more than 50 years, rejecting its umbrella bid for the two-Games package and opting instead to negotiate individual deals for better terms.

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I'm glad TVE will continue to broadcast the games in Spain, they are the only ones that have the means (and the interest) to give such an extensive free-to air coverage, and certainly they have the most experience too.

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I'm glad TVE will continue to broadcast the games in Spain, they are the only ones that have the means (and the interest) to give such an extensive free-to air coverage, and certainly they have the most experience too.

I posted a report about the German situation in a different thread. Here it is:

The IOC is currently negotiating the TV rights for the 2014 and 2016 Games here in Europe. In the past the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has won the rights. At the beginning of the year the IOC has rejected the offer by the EBU.

The IOC wants deals with every single member of the EBU, because it expects more revenue. So, Germany is one of the biggest market here in Europe. Like France and Italy we are interested in Summer AND Winter Games.

Last week the deadline for the offers ended. Media reports, that the IOC wants 200 Mio € from Germany. The German EBU members are the public operators ARD and ZDF. They placed a bid for 90 Mio €. No other Free-TV operator made an offer.

But Germany has also a Pay-TV broadcaster. Premiere wasnt very popular and had less and less paying viewers. This summer Robert Murdoch bought Premiere. Now we have Sky (like in Italy and the UK) too. Although you really cant compare the numbers of viewers with the UK or Italy, Sky placed a bid (over 100 Mio €)!

So for the first time in German history it is possible, that we wont be able to watch Olympic Games as we are used to. There is a rule, that 200 hours have to be broadcasted in Free-TV.

The program director of ARD has already threaten, that they wont no longer show unpopular sports between the Games. Swimming, athletics or speed skating arent that popular.

If sky succeeds, the Olympic Games have one viewer less.

:

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I posted a report about the German situation in a different thread.

Thanks, that's what I wanted to learn about. ;)

Too bad Sky may get the rights in Germany, well, they already did in Italy. The olympics are exposed to lose their relevancy with these moves. We would hardly hear anything about the winter olympics if that was the case in Spain.

Anyone knows what may happen with Eurosport's olympic coverage across Europe?

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Last week the deadline for the offers ended. Media reports, that the IOC wants 200 Mio € from Germany. The German EBU members are the public operators ARD and ZDF. They placed a bid for 90 Mio €. No other Free-TV operator made an offer.

But Germany has also a Pay-TV broadcaster. Premiere wasnt very popular and had less and less paying viewers. This summer Robert Murdoch bought Premiere. Now we have Sky (like in Italy and the UK) too. Although you really cant compare the numbers of viewers with the UK or Italy, Sky placed a bid (over 100 Mio €)!

I hope that ARD and ZDF wins the tv-rights - the IOC would be bad advised if it gave it to Sky, that would exclude the outstanding majority of Germans from watching Olympics...

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Here in the UK the Olympics are on the list of protected sports events that have to be, by law, broadcast on free-to-air terrestrial TV.

No risk of Sky getting their grubby hands on them for us, unless they get over 95% coverage required. Even in that situation they'd have to put them on their free channels and not on their subscription ones.

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That is the key, the IOC requires that the entire population has free-to-air coverage of the Olympics.

I am hoping CBC regains the rights here, CTV has not shown the dedication to providing the world cups and background sporting events to get familiar with the athletes. They are just running commercials with them.

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Yeah I've noticed - they will def want to keep hold of it. If Sky aren't allowed to get it then it'll be the BBC. 4 and 5 can't afford it, and ITV put all their money in the Champions League basket - they voluntarily gave up F1 so I can't see them splashing out on the games.

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Looks like te US rights battle could be heating up:

BRISTOL, Conn. — Standing on a deck overlooking the ESPN headquarters, executive vice president of content John Skipper delivers some bad news to network TV competitors about the upcoming bidding war for U.S. TV rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games. "We'll be there. We're having discussions with them," Skipper said.

After scoring big with its coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, you'd think NBC would have the inside track on TV rights to the 2014 and 2016 games. But ESPN/ABC will likely be a strong competitor. Without blinking an eye, ESPN outbid Fox by more than $100 million for the rights to college football's Bowl Championship Series (BCS) from January 2011 to January 2014.

As it celebrates its 30th anniversary, the once rinky-dink and now incredibly deep-pocketed cable network seems hungrier for the validation an Olympics would bring. "There's no question the Olympics would continue the process of establishing ESPN as the home of championship sports and great sports," Skipper said.

The International Olympics Committee has assured ESPN, said Skipper, that it will have a seat at the table when bidding begins in earnest for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Games in a still-to-be-determined host city.

To show it has the chops to handle a global event, ESPN will give its 2010 FIFA World Cup coverage the Olympic treatment. ESPN is already planning to send anchors Chris Fowler, Mike Tirico and Bob Ley to South Africa for the entire event, said Norby Williamson, executive vice president of remote/studio production.

"What we're hoping to bring to (the World Cup) is Olympic-quality production," said Skipper. "Not just the cameras but the feel of it. That it feels big. That it feels international. That it feels about more than just competition. It's competition. But it's also culture. And human drama."

ESPN's competitors won't roll over and play dead. Fox wants the games. NBC is expected to go to the mat to protect its franchise. CBS is also expected to bid.

"The Olympics are one of the premier sporting events in the world and we will absolutely be a part of the bidding process when the time comes," said Fox spokesman Dan Bell on Sunday.

While NBC did a "spectacular job" in Beijing, Skipper thinks the Peacock was both lucky and good. "You've got to give them credit for getting swimming at night. And you have to give it to them for orchestrating it so that Michael Phelps was a big story. Like all of us, they had the good fortune to be there when an unbelievable story unfolded, right? Michael Phelps every night. So they had a good run."

USA Today

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Competition is good for the soul, but I really feel the rights should stay with NBC Universal. CBS's coverage of the Winter Games was never outstanding and I doubt they're in a position to bid or to promise broadcast time that the IOC would find acceptable.

ESPN/ABC on the other hand does have Olympic pedigree, even if they haven't carried a OG since 1988. ESPN's vast cable system, plus ABC for the main events are a nice counter to NBC.

Still, I just feel that for both quality of coverage and based on experience, NBC Universal should hold on.

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I'm really hoping NBC Universal gets deposed. Terry Gannon is a really excellent commentator and it'll be great hearing him again if ESPN/ABC gets the nod. Fingers crossed. I've been hearing otherwise about how NBC presented Beijing including putting a live tag on the opening ceremony when it was shown delayed.

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I've been hearing otherwise about how NBC presented Beijing including putting a live tag on the opening ceremony when it was shown delayed.

I could be wrong, but I don't recall their doing that. It sounds like something that I would of definitely remembered.

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That is the key, the IOC requires that the entire population has free-to-air coverage of the Olympics.

I am hoping CBC regains the rights here, CTV has not shown the dedication to providing the world cups and background sporting events to get familiar with the athletes. They are just running commercials with them.

I agree. I am dissapointed in CTV/TSN-Rogers Sportsnet lack of world cups and pre-olympic coverage to this point. They have paid $93 million for the Vancouver Games and the adversting dollars may not match what CTV has paid for. The talk is that CTV's coverage is going to full of features while TSN and Sportsnet will do all the live events. If that is the case that is very dissapointing!!!!

Having said that if CBC is going to broadcast Olympic Games, Sportsplus is going to have to be on basic cable and needs a strong broadcast partner to overthrow CTV/Rogers for 2014 and 2016. I don't think CTV will pay $93 million for Sochi!!!!

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I could be wrong, but I don't recall their doing that. It sounds like something that I would of definitely remembered.
i remember reading an article wherein it was reported NBC broadcasted teh event delayed and still kept the live tag on. that's what i remember.

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I agree. I am dissapointed in CTV/TSN-Rogers Sportsnet lack of world cups and pre-olympic coverage to this point. They have paid $93 million for the Vancouver Games and the adversting dollars may not match what CTV has paid for. The talk is that CTV's coverage is going to full of features while TSN and Sportsnet will do all the live events. If that is the case that is very dissapointing!!!!

Having said that if CBC is going to broadcast Olympic Games, Sportsplus is going to have to be on basic cable and needs a strong broadcast partner to overthrow CTV/Rogers for 2014 and 2016. I don't think CTV will pay $93 million for Sochi!!!!

For 2010/2012, CTV bid 155 million and CBC bid between 98 and 102.

CTV is looking at losing close to 70 million dollars over the two games because they over bid by such a large margin.

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As a big-time Olympics fanatic (as most of us certainly are), I am very much hoping that ESPN gets nowhere near the Olympics. For them to be the rights-holder for Sochi has disaster written all over it. I know there's a lot of people out there who have plenty to nit-pick about NBC's coverage, but I'm betting there would be a lot more to nit-pick if ESPN took over and had to start from scratch to figure out how to program the Olympics, let alone in the middle of college basketball season. NBC may have their faults, but at least they've learned from some of their mistakes and have attempted to make the Olympics the signature event on their programming schedule. I don't see ESPN doing the same for the Olympics.

And olympian.. I still have the Opening Ceremony from last summer saved on my DVR. There was no live tag on it. The primetime show during the games that was shown live on the East Coast was then tape-delayed to the West Coast with the LIVE bug still burned in, so maybe that's what you were thinking of.

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I am expecting the IOC to garner about $2.6 billion for 2014/2016 U.S. Broadcast rights. I actually hope it stays with NBC, and if Chicago wins, NBC has a bit more infrastructure here to work with - even though ABC is the most popular local news source.

The other probable U.S. bidders -

ABC/ESPN

FOX (unlikely)

CBS/Turner Sports (no chance)

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NBC has invested so much into their Olympics infrastructure with sister channels that I doubt another network would be willing to pony up the money necessary for not only the rights to broadcast but all the other expenses incurred in getting ready - look how many years it's taken NBC to "get it right"! And it was not that long ago that ratings were low for NBC. Beijing worked out extremely well but there's no reason to believe it will continue for London or another host down the line.

Chicago and Rio present the best opportunities because of live coverage of events but it will still come down to how US athletes are performing at the Games. As long as the US is a sports superpower and performs well, the ratings should be up. And as long as the hosts are flexible with scheduling, this makes ratings better (Beijing swimming for example). One bad ratings cycle and NBC may just decide to get out of the Olympics business. If that happens, another broadcaster will swoop in but at a reduced price tag which would almost gaurantee a US host in the near future if that scenario played out.

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NBC has invested so much into their Olympics infrastructure with sister channels that I doubt another network would be willing to pony up the money necessary for not only the rights to broadcast but all the other expenses incurred in getting ready - look how many years it's taken NBC to "get it right"! And it was not that long ago that ratings were low for NBC. Beijing worked out extremely well but there's no reason to believe it will continue for London or another host down the line.

Chicago and Rio present the best opportunities because of live coverage of events but it will still come down to how US athletes are performing at the Games. As long as the US is a sports superpower and performs well, the ratings should be up. And as long as the hosts are flexible with scheduling, this makes ratings better (Beijing swimming for example). One bad ratings cycle and NBC may just decide to get out of the Olympics business. If that happens, another broadcaster will swoop in but at a reduced price tag which would almost gaurantee a US host in the near future if that scenario played out.

ESPN has the money, without question. Whether or not they're willing to sink the resources needed into broadcasting an Olympics is another story, especially that the first Olympics they'd get would be Sochi which could easily turn out very bad for them. Since the negotiations for 2014/2016 will occur before London and presumably the Vancouver Olympics will fare pretty well (certainly not a guarantee, but it will likely be an improvement over Torino), there's not a possibility for a bad ratings cycle to occur.

From what I understand, Dick Ebersol would love to have the 2016 games end up in Chicago and use that to cap his career and retire afterwards. What happens if another city gets selected remains to be seen. I still think NBC will get the next contract, but ESPN will still be a very serious player and Fox and CBS will both be in the running.

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Ebersol has made it crystal clear that he prefers Chicago for 2016.

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Ebersol has made it crystal clear that he prefers Chicago for 2016.

Of course, it would be cheaper for NBC. They wouldn't have to schlep a whole army of 500 people down there for 3 weeks. Remember all those per diems can all add up.

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