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IOC to award US TV rights in June


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AP Interview: IOC to award US TV rights in June

The IOC plans to sell the next set of lucrative U.S. Olympic television rights by mid-June, with networks given the option of bidding on two or four games, the IOC’s TV negotiator said Wednesday.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Richard Carrion said he expects three networks to compete for the contract and that the winning fee will surpass the $2 billion that NBC paid for the rights to the 2010 and 2012 Olympics.

Carrion, who heads the International Olympic Committee’s finance commission, said he has held preliminary talks with all interested U.S. networks and the bidding contract documents are being finalized.

“We don’t know who’s in, who’s out,” he said. “The process should take six, seven weeks. We’ll probably crank it up in May.”

The networks will then be invited to Lausanne, Switzerland, to make presentations and offer sealed bids.

“I would suspect it’ll happen in the second part of June,” Carrion said, adding that the goal is to have the deal completed before the IOC meeting in early July in Durban, South Africa.

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May the dumbest network win it.

The IOC seems convinced they can get $2 billion (or $4-5 billion if someone bids on 4 Olympics instead of 2). I don't know that anyone is going to bid that high. I could totally see Fox and ESPN lowballing it and NBC going over that number for fear they'll lose. If that happens and they're a mile ahead of the other bids like they were for 2010/2012, then they deserve to lose money.

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I suspect the networks bidding will remain competitive, but is it worth $2 billion for two Games? Past games were profitable, well with exception to Vancouver...

The IOC has been holding out for the last two years, so you know they are going to try to get every last cent out of the bidders.

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The IOC seems convinced they can get $2 billion (or $4-5 billion if someone bids on 4 Olympics instead of 2). I don't know that anyone is going to bid that high.

I know. And in todays economy, where there are cutbacks in virtually every sector of industry, idk where they're getting this crazy notion from. Come June, they may get a good slap of a reality check.

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I know. And in todays economy, where there are cutbacks in virtually every sector of industry, idk where they're getting this crazy notion from. Come June, they may get a good slap of a reality check.

Could also be some political posturing on the part of the IOC. For the 2010/2012 bids, NBC over-bid because they thought someone else out there was going to bid $2 billion. So they bid $2.001 billion in rights fees, plus additional sponsorship money from GE. We know how that worked out for them. So if the IOC is saying they're expecting $2 billion, that could be their way of getting history to repeat itself and have a prospective bidder think they have to top that number. If this process was an open auction, the winning bid would be 1 notch higher than the 2nd most interested network. But because it's sealed bids, every network has to take a calculated risk. NBC thought they could make 2010/2012 profitable at $2 billion. Obviously they were wrong. All the networks have to assess the value of the Olympics and decide where in relation to that number to bid.

The IOC has been holding out for the last two years, so you know they are going to try to get every last cent out of the bidders.

They've been holding out for more favorable economic conditions, and I don't think we're at that point. But they can't hold off any longer, especially if they want a new TV partner involved. Ideally this deal should have been wrapped up a while ago and it favors the networks much moreso than the IOC that they've waited this long.

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Joe Buck would host the studio show, with Frank Caliendo doing some impersonations of people, like John Madden covering field hockey.

I don't know that Joe Buck is the best choice as the face of Fox's Olympics coverage, especially for Sochi. He'll be calling the Super Bowl the Sunday before the Opening Ceremony. At least it's in New York where there are plenty of international flights, but that means he'd be leaving Monday afternoon at the earliest and not arriving in Sochi until sometime Tuesday at the earliest. Not exactly a lot of preparation time, especially after doing NFL games all season. Combine that with the fact that the NFL has talked about pushing the NFL season back even further (potentially putting the Super Bowl in the middle of February where it would conflict with the Olympics) and it could create a less-than-ideal situation for Fox to have to deal with.

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I'm always dumbfounded as to how can people ask this question.

Well, obviously NOT the way NBC or CBS or ABC would do it.

Why is it such a dumb question if you don't know the answer? So we know how they're NOT going to do it, do you know the way that maybe they would do it? Obviously not even the folks at Fox could probably answer it, but if Fox is on the IOC's radar, it's certainly worth speculating about. We pretty much know how NBC would cover 2014 and 2016. Probably can guess how CBS would do it. We know what ESPN/ABC would do, they'd show the Olympics Bill O'Reilly style.. "we'll do it live!" As for Fox, that's a bigger question. My issue with them is what do they do about the Super Bowl. CBS had both the Super Bowl and the Olympics (their first in the modern US Olympic TV era) in 1992, but they had 13 days between the game and the Opening Ceremony. Fox would have 5 and they'd be doing it in a country the world isn't exactly familiar with. The IOC may be aware of that and hoping Fox doesn't put in the highest bid.

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ABC Affils May Help Fund Olympics Bid

ABC affiliates might help the network pay for U.S. rights to telecast the 2014 Winter Olympic games and 2016 Summer Olympics, the head of the ABC board said after the board met on Sunday.

Disney-owned ESPN is expected to bid for the games in is expected be an expensive battle between networks that should be decided by the International Olympics Committee by mid-June. ESPN recently said if it gets the games, sharing air time with ABC, it would show them in real time, and show repeats of major events in primetime.

“It probably would be reasonable to think that you could see ABC and ESPN do something,” said Bill Hoffman, general manager of Cox’s WSB Atlanta, and chairman of the affiliates board. “NBC has shown they place a high value in being a player for the Olympics and I wouldn’t rule out Fox. You could make a case how it would be a good fit for all three.”

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I think Sochi will have lower numbers than Vancouver; and Rio would have good viewing numbers.

ABC-ESPN would actually be in a good position for this...because if they are showing Brazil 2014 in the US, then that should serve as a good warm-up and lead-in for their Rio 2016 coverage!!

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The only negative of an ABC/ESPN Olympics bid is the possible use of Stuart Scott.

There are many negatives of an ESPN/ABC bid, but yes, that being 1 of them.

I think Sochi will have lower numbers than Vancouver; and Rio would have good viewing numbers.

ABC-ESPN would actually be in a good position for this...because if they are showing Brazil 2014 in the US, then that should serve as a good warm-up and lead-in for their Rio 2016 coverage!!

Sochi seems like a bad fit for both ESPN and Fox (actually, any Winter Olympics is bad for ESPN). Rio is what they're paying for. As much as I am against ESPN having any part in the Olympics, I'd give them a shot with Rio. You're 100% right about them being familiar with Brazil and it's during the summer when the rest of the sports world in the US is relatively quiet. As opposed to Sochi, I don't know how ESPN thinks they could fit that in and around all their other programming, let alone coming off an NFL season.

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As opposed to Sochi, I don't know how ESPN thinks they could fit that in and around all their other programming, let alone coming off an NFL season.

U mean in terms of a competent, Olympics-savvy staff? Simple. They will hire the veterans of the NBC coverages who would be out looking for such similar work anyway.

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U mean in terms of a competent, Olympics-savvy staff? Simple. They will hire the veterans of the NBC coverages who would be out looking for such similar work anyway.

Didn't mean just the crew, but that you brought it up.. there's no shortage of work to go around in sports television that time of year with hockey, the NBA, and college basketball all in full swing. So if ESPN going to go out and hire a whole host of freelancers, is it really worth the trouble? It's not just finding people familiar with the Olympics and knowing ESPN, they'll want to rely on their own people rather than reaching out to find others. You figure all their top brass will be at the Super Bowl (down the road just 100 miles form Bristol, so that's gonna be a key selling point there), so that's way too quick of a turn-around to get everyone to Sochi in time for the Opening Ceremony just 5 days later.

Besides, you know the IOC wants whoever is covering the games to treat it as the biggest and most important thing there is that entire month. Can ESPN do that without short-changing their other programming and properties? Not a chance. Plus, considering what pays the bills at ESPN (that being the NFL), they're doing viewers a dis-service by cutting back on that. And if you're going to try and remind me that ESPN doesn't actually cover the game, you must not watch a lot of Super Bowl week coverage. All this assuming that the Super Bowl remains the week before the Olympics, something that could change in the next few years, in which case ESPN would really be out of options.

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No, I DON'T watch the SuperBowl. But I don't see why you're so worried. Whomever it'll be, the problem will resolve itself. Geesh, there have been FAR GREATER hurdles to face than how a new network might handle it. THe IOC and the Games have survived boycotts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc., etc., what's a change of networks? They're NOT SO CLUELESS as to NOT know how to get started on another super event one week after the SuperBowl. Such wasted anxiety.

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No, I DON'T watch the SuperBowl. But I don't see why you're so worried. Whomever it'll be, the problem will resolve itself. Geesh, there have been FAR GREATER hurdles to face than how a new network might handle it. THe IOC and the Games have survived boycotts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc., etc., what's a change of networks? They're NOT SO CLUELESS as to NOT know how to get started on another super event one week after the SuperBowl. Such wasted anxiety.

Who's getting worried anxious? I'm just curious how ESPN would cover the Olympics (we KNOW it won't be like NBC) and get a return on their $2 billion investment, not that the money is coming out of my money. Oh wait.. it would be if ESPN increases their carriage rates and my cable company passes on the cost to me. Regardless..

I'm not concerned that the Olympics are going to fall apart if ESPN is the United State host broadcaster. If ESPN loses (or makes) hundreds of millions of dollars, it's certainly no skin off my back. But as someone who loves watching the Olympics, I'm just speculating over how that might change if ESPN or someone else replaces NBC. Another event I love watching is the NCAA Tournament, that just went through its own dramatic change in terms of TV coverage, so pardon me if I'm looking at what a change for the Olympics would be.

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Who's getting worried anxious? I'm just curious how ESPN would cover the Olympics (we KNOW it won't be like NBC) and get a return on their $2 billion investment, not that the money is coming out of my money. Oh wait.. it would be if ESPN increases their carriage rates and my cable company passes on the cost to me. Regardless..

I'm not concerned that the Olympics are going to fall apart if ESPN is the United State host broadcaster. If ESPN loses (or makes) hundreds of millions of dollars, it's certainly no skin off my back. But as someone who loves watching the Olympics, I'm just speculating over how that might change if ESPN or someone else replaces NBC. Another event I love watching is the NCAA Tournament, that just went through its own dramatic change in terms of TV coverage, so pardon me if I'm looking at what a change for the Olympics would be.

Well, certainly from all the energy you've put in here, it sure fooled me.

But HOW do you think ANOTHER network would show it? They'll still show the boxers punching each other; they'll still show the US relay teams drop the batons; see the horses hitting a gate; a gymnast falling off the beam, etc., etc.... It's the same...maybe different announcers, etc., but of course they will still show the sports. They'll have filler stories...up-close and personal, of course. So how DIFFERENT could all that be?? :blink:

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Well, certainly from all the energy you've put in here, it sure fooled me.

But HOW do you think ANOTHER network would show it? They'll still show the boxers punching each other; they'll still show the US relay teams drop the batons; see the horses hitting a gate; a gymnast falling off the beam, etc., etc.... It's the same...maybe different announcers, etc., but of course they will still show the sports. They'll have filler stories...up-close and personal, of course. So how DIFFERENT could all that be?? :blink:

Well, I happen to work in sports television, so things like this do interest me, especially as a fan of the Olympics, even though it won't really have an effect on me personally.

That said, it's clearly going to make a difference which network wins the rights. NBC's approach is to save the marquee events for primetime and show them on tape. ESPN has promised they'll show everything live. What about coverage of the less marquee events, what happens to those. What about live streaming on the Internet, what happens there. And then beyond that, there is something behind the personality of the hosts and announcers who are involved, especially with the filler stuff.

Now I'm not trying to make a mountain out of molehill here saying this is going to be some sort of titanic shift for the Olympics 1 way or another. But the network covering the Olympics could have a big effect on everyone's viewing experience, just like the NCAA Tournament viewing experience changed a lot with this new CBS/Turner deal as opposed to the old CBS formula. It's not so simple as just showing the sports and I'd like to think on an Olympics forum (I've had a much more lengthy debate than this elsewhere) would appreciate the difference. Again, all we can do here is speculate and maybe it is wasted energy, but then again, I'm not the person who has made nearly 27,000 posts :D

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Well, you know, some people on this board can't get it the first time...so you have to explain it a thousand different ways. :P

Anyway, for veterans OR stockholders of Disney, CBS or GE (I actually am...and am glad they finally unburdened themsleves of that albatross, NBC) or folks like you, it obviously is a sticking point. But for first-time (of which I am sure there are many with each new edition of the Olympics) and casual viewers, it shouldn't really be a big deal if the tiger changes its stripes. And what's VCRs and DVRs for...but to tape live events at 2:00 am.

As I said, it has to be explained a thousand times to some posters...which is why, yes, I am on a record 27,000 posts. :P But who's counting between friends. I'm not. That ticker is.

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