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IOC to award US TV rights in June


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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.

I wouldn't call it a sticking point, just something I'm interested to see play out.. that is if it does play out. Very possible (and I still think probable) that NBC is the top bidder and ESPN remains out of the picture. But there's all people I see post online (who seem to come out of the woodwork for every Olympics) who moan and groan about NBC's coverage and think the grass is greener on the other side. I doubt believe it is.. I think it's the opposite and the complaining would be even worse if ESPN takes over.

Obviously this is not something we as viewers have any control over, but it is nice thinking about the Olympics during the 46 out of every 48 months they're not going on! I don't know that it will necessarily make the choice between someone (either a diehard like me or a casual viewer) watching or not, but I still think you're under-selling how much of a difference the broadcasting network will make, especially with an event like the Olympics being covered in the US.

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but I still think you're under-selling how much of a difference the broadcasting network will make, especially with an event like the Olympics being covered in the US.

But it's NOT like you have a choice...oh, I don't like how ESPN is doing this; let me switch over to NBC? I mean US viewers along the borders can opt to have the CBC or Mexicana. Well, let me correct myself there. I guess mainland US viewers can have a choice of whichever English station it is and perhaps Telemundo?? :lol:

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But it's NOT like you have a choice...oh, I don't like how ESPN is doing this; let me switch over to NBC? I mean US viewers along the borders can opt to have the CBC or Mexicana. Well, let me correct myself there. I guess mainland US viewers can have a choice of whichever English station it is and perhaps Telemundo?? :lol:

Ahh, but CBC is no longer an option. Remember they lost 2010 to CTV. And believe me, I read more than a few posts from people in border cities like Seattle and Detroit who were really upset over losing that option. I just laughed and threw it back at them saying "well boo-freaking-hoo that you no longer have an option most of us never had in the first place." I don't see how it's different than other events. If you don't like how Fox is covering the World Series, it's not like you have an option there.

The funny thing when people complain about NBC is that a lot of those people are still watching the coverage. It's like going back to a restaurant you don't like and say "the food was awful yesterday, can I have some more?" The 1 constant about Olympic coverage is that someone is always going to hate the way it's done. There's absolutely no way you can please everyone and because the Olympics attracts such a wide audience, you'll always have people who don't like how it's being done.

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Ahh, but CBC is no longer an option.

OK, CBC, CBX, CCTV...whatever... I don't live near the border so I wouldn't know the fine differences between which network it is...NOR do I actually care. THe point is those living near the borders can always switch over to WHICHEVER Canadian, Mexican OR Cuban coverage they want to if they aren't happy with NBC, ESPN or QVC.

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OK, CBC, CBX, CCTV...whatever... I don't live near the border so I wouldn't know the fine differences between which network it is...NOR do I actually care. THe point is those living near the borders can always switch over to WHICHEVER Canadian, Mexican OR Cuban coverage they want to if they aren't happy with NBC, ESPN or QVC.

That's just it though.. not they can't. A lot of border towns (especially bigger cities like Detroit and Seattle) have cable companies that carry CBC. It's not like people were pointing an antenna into Canada. When the Olympics shifted to CTV, all those people with CBC on their cable systems were left out in the cold, they no longer have the option to pull in Canadian coverage of the Olympics.

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All right, as interesting as this discussion isn't, what do we think will be the deciding factor/s in the IOC's decision?

I don't think it's going to be all about price, but I expect to see online and mobile streaming be a huge component of these bids (not that we'll ever get the chance to know what was in them).

Either way, I see NBC getting the nod. They'll pay the price, and the IOC likes to stay with an old friend. I think ESPN's commitment to live coverage is bad for advertising, and even if ABC was to be ESPN's tape delay outlet, I don't see ABC getting more involved in sports programming in the long run. Just my .02 cents.

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All right, as interesting as this discussion isn't, what do we think will be the deciding factor/s in the IOC's decision?

I don't think it's going to be all about price, but I expect to see online and mobile streaming be a huge component of these bids (not that we'll ever get the chance to know what was in them).

Either way, I see NBC getting the nod. They'll pay the price, and the IOC likes to stay with an old friend. I think ESPN's commitment to live coverage is bad for advertising, and even if ABC was to be ESPN's tape delay outlet, I don't see ABC getting more involved in sports programming in the long run. Just my .02 cents.

I agree with all that.. especially about the part about this thread not being that interesting (I've had much better discussions about this on other forums that are less focused on the Olympics).

The IOC is going to want a partner that A) is going to give them the most back for their buck and B) will treat the Olympics like it's the most important thing in the world. I don't think ESPN can do either of those. Live programming is great, but I don't buy the IOC's claims that they think there's value in it. All they want to see is how big the audiences are and if NBC can deliver more eyeballs than ESPN, there's your deciding factor right there. And while any of the networks could do a very admirable job with Rio (friendly timezone, during the summer when the sports landscape is much quieter), I think ESPN and Fox would do more harm than good for Sochi and I hope the IOC realizes that.

Either way, this may be a sealed bid process, but here's what I see happening. If Comcast/NBC is the high bidder, obviously it's a done deal. If someone outbids Comcast (let's say ESPN bids $2 billion and Comcast/NBC only bids $1.8 billion), the IOC being the organization that they are, I firmly believe they'll take those numbers to Comcast and say "if you bid $2.05 billion, you win it." If I'm in the IOC's shoes, NBC is the partner I want to deal with and I'll do whatever I can to get them in that position.

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If NBC couldn't make money off a Canadian Winter Games how are they going to make money off of a Russian Winter Games? I don't think Comcast will open the purse. So in my opinion the IOC will take the high bid, or the Comcast bid, I don't think any investor's would be happy though if after past results any of the publicly owned networks bid $2,000,000,000+

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If NBC couldn't make money off a Canadian Winter Games how are they going to make money off of a Russian Winter Games? I don't think Comcast will open the purse. So in my opinion the IOC will take the high bid, or the Comcast bid, I don't think any investor's would be happy though if after past results any of the publicly owned networks bid $2,000,000,000+

How do they make money? Easy.. bid less. The Olympics have long been a very profitable event. NBC over-shot on Vancouver and paid the price for it. There is a number (only hindsight will tell us what it is) where Rochi and Sio will be profitable. That's the number Comcast is going to bid. And if it's higher than what the other networks offer, it's the winning bid, regardless of whether it's over $2 billion or not. What it comes down to is this.. each network's bid is going to be based on the amount of money they believe they can generate from the Olympics. I remain unconvinced that ESPN's "we promise everything live" coverage can generate more money than NBC's prime time soap opera coverage. If that's the case, then Comcast wins, and it won't require and over the top bid like they made for 2010/2012. Don't think that 1 bad business decision is going to scare Comcast away from the prize, especially that they've left Dick Ebersol in charge.

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You're probably right. Though I'd prefer everything live, it's more fun to see things as they happen I mean we live in the 21st Century, rather than be forced to wait. It's not like the results won't be available all over anyway.

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You're probably right. Though I'd prefer everything live, it's more fun to see things as they happen I mean we live in the 21st Century, rather than be forced to wait. It's not like the results won't be available all over anyway.

But a huge percent of Americans aren't going to stay up to watch a swimming match at 3am. And, more importantly, sponsors aren't going to shill out for a games that America is sleeping through.

A possible solution would be to have programming similar to what NBC already does, but then offer a channel (like USA or whatever they call it these days), this shows live events 24/7.

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Here's the thing though...and again, there is NO BETTER ADAGE than unless you learn from history's lessons, you are bound to repeat its mistakes.

Flashback 23 years ago... at the last WOGs in Canada, Calgary 1988 (and oddly enough, I was just updating this part in my book) lost money for ABC and that PROVED to be their last Olympic coverage after doing it so successfully too for like a dozen years.

So, how...in everything that is sane and logical...can NBC, with all its some 20 years of Olympic telecasting experience -- miscalculate so badly on BOTH Vancouver and London, and then still BE EXPECTED to put in the winning bids that will HOPEFULLY make $$ again? :blink:

Somebody, please humor me.

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But a huge percent of Americans aren't going to stay up to watch a swimming match at 3am. And, more importantly, sponsors aren't going to shill out for a games that America is sleeping through.

A possible solution would be to have programming similar to what NBC already does, but then offer a channel (like USA or whatever they call it these days), this shows live events 24/7.

I've been saying this is what they should use online video for. Put all their live coverage there and conduct business on TV as normal. That should satisfy those who want events live and still protect their primetime audience. The added advantage of London being 5 hours off from New York is that events should be done by around 7pm ET, so once primetime starts in the US, there's nothing going on live in London.

Remains to be seen if NBC will go that route. I thought they were headed in the right direction for Beijing and then took a giant step backward offering little from Vancouver. Let's hope they can improve on that for London since we know they'll be holding back key events for primetime, even if they occur in the afternoon in the United States.

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Here's the thing though...and again, there is NO BETTER ADAGE than unless you learn from history's lessons, you are bound to repeat its mistakes.

Flashback 23 years ago... at the last WOGs in Canada, Calgary 1988 (and oddly enough, I was just updating this part in my book) lost money for ABC and that PROVED to be their last Olympic coverage after doing it so successfully too for like a dozen years.

So, how...in everything that is sane and logical...can NBC, with all its some 20 years of Olympic telecasting experience -- miscalculate so badly on BOTH Vancouver and London, and then still BE EXPECTED to put in the winning bids that will HOPEFULLY make $$ again? :blink:

Somebody, please humor me.

Sure Baron, I'll humor you (and anyone else who still isn't grasping this economic principle)...

First off, let's not use ABC as an example of what's about to happen with NBC (although I agree that the situations are almost too eerily similar). CBS came in after and made a boatload of money on 3 Olympics during the 90's. Why couldn't that have been ABC? For the right price, they could have won it and reaped the benefits. Yes, they screwed up on Calgary, and yes that probably scared them away especially with a new parent company, but it doesn't mean they couldn't have had it for the right price.

So now we have NBC. Yes, they miscalculated really badly (and it didn't help that the economy collapsed), perhaps scared that they'd lose 1 of their signature properties. But that's past history now, and at this point, it's irrelevant. You (and others) keep assuming that NBC got hurt so bad from that loss that they're not even going to try this time around, especially with a new parent company. That's simply not the case. They don't have to hit some arbitrary number to win this bid (which is largely what they did for 2010/2012.. obviously they screwed up big time), all they have to do is beat the competition. Now ESPN and Fox, they're certainly not going to over-bid after seeing what happened to NBC. They're going to bid a number where they think the Olympics can be profitable. Comcast is going to do the same. And if NBC can generate more revenue from 2014/2016 than their competition can, they're going to bid higher. And they're going to win.

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You (and others) keep assuming that NBC got hurt so bad from that loss that they're not even going to try this time around,

Well, isn't that a basic capitalist business principle? Not unless I am misreading NBC's credo: the Olympics at ANY cost, regardless of profit. :blink: How can one argue against such foolishness and ego? It's really an unbalanced way of doing business wherein they hinge their entire reputation and credit on a bi/quadrennial event; not unless of course Ebersole and other top NBC mucky-mucks are getting kickbacks from the IOC for putting in astronomical, basically unsound bids. That's one way of looking at it.

Perhaps the Justice Dept. should look into this wonky way NBC is/has been misusing corporation funds and being derelict to their shareholders? :blink:

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Well, isn't that a basic capitalist business principle? Not unless I am misreading NBC's credo: the Olympics at ANY cost, regardless of profit. :blink: How can one argue against such foolishness and ego? That's really unstable that they hinge their entire reputation and credit on a bi/quadrennial event.

That wasn't really their credo, although I agree, you'd never know it by their over-bid. They thought the Olympics would be profitable at $2 billion and were worried they'd be losing money if they didn't hit that number and got out-bid by someone else. From 2000-2008, NBC made $355 million, so it's not like they kept shelling out billions of dollars all those years in spite of losing money. Again, the Olympics were never a loss leader like the NFL is. Yes, foolishness and ego got the best of them in 2003. And I agree that Comcast won't let them do that again (although that's part of the issue at hand now.. just how much control Dick Ebersol). But think about it.. how bad will Fox or ESPN look if they bid on the Olympics and lose money on it. By the same token, how bad is NBC going to look if someone else takes over and makes the Olympics profitable again. NBC didn't do so well on the 1988 Olympics and yet they came back for 1992 when they weren't considered the favorite in the running (and lost more money in the process).

I'm rambling I know, but bottom line.. if there's profit to be made, all the networks will want a piece of it. Whether they can actually make a profit still remains the $2 billion question.

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A couple of history lessons for you, Baron (and others)...

NBC readjusts Games sales goals

Bidding for Olympic Broadcast Rights: The Competition before the Competition

First article there is from Sports Business Journal from last January talking about NBC's ad sales for Vancouver. It mentions the money losses that were expected from Vancouver, but also shows their past profits, including the $100 million they made on Beijing.

The second one is from a Stanford economics professor written back in 1991. It's a good read, gives some insight into the bid process and definitely has some lessons that could be applied this time around.

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A couple of history lessons for you, Baron (and others)...

NBC readjusts Games sales goals

Bidding for Olympic Broadcast Rights: The Competition before the Competition

First article there is from Sports Business Journal from last January talking about NBC's ad sales for Vancouver. It mentions the money losses that were expected from Vancouver, but also shows their past profits, including the $100 million they made on Beijing.

The second one is from a Stanford economics professor written back in 1991. It's a good read, gives some insight into the bid process and definitely has some lessons that could be applied this time around.

Interesting. Thank you. But I have followed this matter thru the years from the late 70's--starting with the Moscow fiasco.

And then, when are the USOC and IOC sitting down to narrow their differences? After the 2014-16 rights are sold? I imagine that would be in the USOC's favor.

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I thought it might be helpful/interesting to break down the percentage increase for the rights fees since 1992. I am also making my prediction for the 2014/2016 rights fees, and I think NBC will be the winner. I cannot even make a guess for 2018/2020 at this time.

SUMMER

Barcelona 1992 – 401 million

Atlanta 1996 – 456 million (+12%)

Sydney 2000 – 705 million (+35%)

Athens 2004 – 793 million (+11%)

Beijing 2008 – 894 million (+11%)

London 2012 – 1.18 billion (+24%)

Rio de Janeiro – 1.39 billion (+15%) (MY PREDICTION)

WINTER

Albertville 1992 – 300 million

Lillehammer 1994 – 300 million (0%)

Nagano 1998 – 375 million (+20%)

Salt Lake City 2002 – 545 million (+31%)

Turin 2006 – 606 million (+10%)

Vancouver 2010 – 820 million (+26%)

Sochi 2014 – 910 million (+10%) (MY PREDICTION)

Total for 2014/2016 rights fees = 2.3 billion

(JUST MY PREDICTION)

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Well, Soaring.

#1 - In a joint package, it's the IOC that breaks up the pot and apportions the percentages to the 2 host cities...not the bidders.

#2 - bidding over $2 billion will definitely be a money loser for the sucker network that wins. If I were them, I would only bid $1.9...and let the IOC take it or leave it. But they are such gluttons for punishment...no wonder the IOC always gets want it wants.

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Sure, the IOC breaks it up, but it is still worth noting. 2.3 might be a little high, but I would be surprised if the winning bid came under 2.2 billion. I don't think the bidders will put anything under 2 billion, as the IOC stated they expect the bids to come above 2010/2012.

Looking back, all winning bids increased by at least 10%, so I don't expect anything less than that even though NBC lost money. They also made a lot of money too, and probably will do well in 2012, and 2016 should most certainly do well with the favorable time zone and intrigue of a Brazil Games.

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Sure, the IOC breaks it up, but it is still worth noting. 2.3 might be a little high, but I would be surprised if the winning bid came under 2.2 billion. I don't think the bidders will put anything under 2 billion, as the IOC stated they expect the bids to come above 2010/2012.

Looking back, all winning bids increased by at least 10%, so I don't expect anything less than that even though NBC lost money. They also made a lot of money too, and probably will do well in 2012, and 2016 should most certainly do well with the favorable time zone and intrigue of a Brazil Games.

I always find it funny that the NBC accounts said they lost money on Vancouver, when according to ratings, it was one of the most watched Winter Games (and I believe it out-performed SLC).

I would say 2.1 billion is about right. Ironically the Canadian rights will probably go for about 210 million. I think there will be almost no increase in what the IOC gives Sochi over Vancouver and I really do believe London will be a success for NBC. Great American sports stars, a location that Americans love and a timezone that is not too terrible.

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I always find it funny that the NBC accounts said they lost money on Vancouver, when according to ratings, it was one of the most watched Winter Games (and I believe it out-performed SLC).

I would say 2.1 billion is about right. Ironically the Canadian rights will probably go for about 210 million. I think there will be almost no increase in what the IOC gives Sochi over Vancouver and I really do believe London will be a success for NBC. Great American sports stars, a location that Americans love and a timezone that is not too terrible.

But ratings are only a part of the equation. The other part is how much advertisers are willing to pay. Probably, the Vancouver issues has more to do with that, since the US was still suffering from the 2008 financial crisis. Therefore, I wouldn't consider the results of 2010 as something to be repeated in 2014 and 2016.

By the way, I expect the results to be better in London than in Vancouver and much better for Rio and Sochi on the network side.

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Not sure if Sochi will get better ratings than Vancouver, but surely lessons had to be learned.

I expect Rio rights fees to be significantly above London, and I also think there will be at least a marginal increase for Sochi as well.

At the very least, accounting for inflation would increase the fees by 21.4% from 2003 to 2011 (IOC accepted NBC's deal in 2003 - link here). That's why I said 2.3 billion, as it would be 15% above what was paid previously, and the IOC would actually be receiving less than they agreed to in 2003.

I will still stick by my prediction for those two games. Obviously I am not expert, and bids for 2018/2020 rights change the dynamics.

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Not sure if Sochi will get better ratings than Vancouver, but surely lessons had to be learned.

I expect Rio rights fees to be significantly above London, and I also think there will be at least a marginal increase for Sochi as well.

At the very least, accounting for inflation would increase the fees by 21.4% from 2003 to 2011 (IOC accepted NBC's deal in 2003 - link here). That's why I said 2.3 billion, as it would be 15% above what was paid previously, and the IOC would actually be receiving less than they agreed to in 2003.

I will still stick by my prediction for those two games. Obviously I am not expert, and bids for 2018/2020 rights change the dynamics.

It would take a miracle for Sochi to out-rate Vancouver, especially given the American success there from many of the big draw athletes.

I'm no expert on economics, but in terms of rights fees, be careful how you account for inflation. When the deals were signed is not as important as what they were for, so you can't compare inflation from 2003 to 2011 so much as you're comparing 2010 to 2014 or 2012 to 2016. The spot where 2003 vs. 2011 comes into play is the state of the economy in those years. NBC projected their revenues for 2010 and 2012 based on whatever factors, then the economy collapsed, and we know the result. Now in 2011, the economy is much worse off than it was 8 years ago. The IOC waited as long as they could for things to turn around, but they haven't, and now they can't wait any longer.

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