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IOC Awards Olympics Broadcast Rights to NBC Through 2032


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WOW That's all I can say The comments on Facebook are FUMING I can't stop laughing While I'm not fond of tape delays I enjoy NBC's coverage a lot Hopefully it will improve more and more

People on social media amuse me sometimes. If they think NBC is bad, I would love to hear what they'd have to say about ESPN or Fox. It's the lesser of 3 evils. Give me NBC over the others anytime.

The thing is, this time there was no 'bidding wars'. The IOC just went to NBC & said "give us moe money?!" And NBC said "sure, just close the vault door on your way out".

They're both hedging their bets. The IOC is guarding against the chance that Olympic interest in the United States wanes and the product isn't as popular to a U.S. audience going forward. NBC is locking in a price they believe is reasonable rather than engaging in a bidding war down the line that could cost them money (as we've seen, NBC doesn't have the best ability to assess the competition.. they do a lot better when they can make a pre-emptive strike.

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Some interesting revelations courtesy of Richard Sandomir and the NY Times..

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/sports/olympics/nbc-extends-olympic-tv-deal-through-2032.html

The planning for NBC’s Olympic extension began during the 2012 Summer Games in London but picked up momentum at a dinner that included NBC and I.O.C. officials last November. There, Mr. Bach said, he first floated the idea of a long-term extension.

But the agreement was reached about six weeks ago after NBC sent Mr. Zenkel to negotiate with Mr. Bach and his team at the I.O.C.’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“We were hoping for four Olympics,” Mr. Burke said. “When we sent Gary over, we said to do it for under $5 billion.” But Mr. Zenkel reported that he could not get it done for less than $5.1 billion. Mr. Burke said that he and Mark Lazarus, the chairman of the NBC Sports Group, encouraged Mr. Zenkel to go for six Olympics at $7.65 billion.

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“We were hoping for four Olympics,” Mr. Burke said. “When we sent Gary over, we said to do it for under $5 billion.” But Mr. Zenkel reported that he could not get it done for less than $5.1 billion. Mr. Burke said that he and Mark Lazarus, the chairman of the NBC Sports Group, encouraged Mr. Zenkel to go for six Olympics at $7.65 billion.

Why did they stop there? Why didn't they go for a dozen...or 'til death do us part?? :blink:

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Why did they stop there? Why didn't they go for a dozen...or 'til death do us part?? :blink:

I would guess there's always the nagging fear that, somewhere down the line, the whole "exclusive market" paradigm in live broadcasting will simply collapse (though in the short term, if, for example, use of VPNs becomes widespread, ways will be found to neutralise them).

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Watching one evening of NBC's sugar coated hyperbole is enough to make any viewer a diabetic.

And what makes you think another network would do it better? They could do it worse.

I'm NOT thrilled with NBC editing Ceremonies...but they do have some good "human-interest" stories. That's also how Bud Greenspan, the Official Film-maker guy of like a dozen Olympics put together his IOC-sanctioned documentaries. (Sometimes they were too tedious.) So it looks like that's the way Olympics will be handled. I suppose if a group of fans can raise $8 billion and top NBC, they can make an offer to take it away from NBC. But would the IOC bite? Most unlikely.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I've had the pleasure of watching Olympic coverage on Canadian, Chinese and Russian TV.

NBC is the less jingoistic than any of them.

I was in college for 2 Olympics (1998 and 2000) where I had the CBC on my cable system, so I got to compare and contrast very directly. I laugh when I read about all the people bitching and moaning about NBC and how jingoistic they are and how they only show Americans. They don't hold a candle to what I saw from CBC. And as much as people get on NBC for producing their own feed at a lot of venues, with CBC, they'd often just have a single camera at a venue to point it at the Canadian. Of course, I wouldn't expect much about people bitching and moaning on the Internet.. most of them are even more ignorant than we want to give them credit for.

My main disappointment is that I'll be dead before another US network--ANY other US network--broadcasts the games.

Watching one evening of NBC's sugar coated hyperbole is enough to make any viewer a diabetic.

Like baron said, as much as NBC has some very obvious faults, to start up with another network would have its own set of headaches. ESPN broadcasting the Olympics, IMO would be a disaster. The Olympics don't fall into their wheelhouse. Fox might do better, but they have a bad track record with some big events they're not familiar with. At least NBC has experience and has had a chance to learn from their mistakes. The Olympics only come around for 2 1/2 weeks every other year. Not exactly any good way to practice for that. So yea, it would be nice to have something to compare and contrast to (if nothing else just to shut everyone up at least a little bit), but if NBC and Comcast are going to continue to make this perhaps the signature property of their entire television operation, I can live with that.

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But no one is more jingoistic than the BBC. I watched some of their London 2012 coverage and it was rediculous. Their men's road race coverage was shameful.

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My main disappointment is that I'll be dead before another US network--ANY other US network--broadcasts the games.

Watching one evening of NBC's sugar coated hyperbole is enough to make any viewer a diabetic.

The sad thing is that NBC provided the best American TV coverage for the Olympics that I've ever watched. That was going way back to Seoul. By miles. So, NBC could do it, but Uncle Dick's tried and true formula (I guess it's really Grandpa Roone's) apparently gets more soccer moms to watch, so there you have it. Sochi was the first Olympics I didn't attend since Nagano, so I have to say that it's much better now with the cable channels and live streaming. But yeah, I'd love to see ESPN get a crack at it.

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Well then, I'm old. I clearly recall the years that ABC owned the Olympic airwaves. ABC created the format NBC uses today complete with the color commentary, the human interest stories, the background information as well as the almost epic quests for Olympic gold. From Squaw Valley, Innsbruck (twice), Tokyo, Grenoble, Mexico City, Sapporo, Nagano, Munich, Montreal, Lake Placid and their final coverage at Calgary--it was ABC's world. Maybe they did some sappy stories but the work done by men such as Roone Arledge (who created the successful coverage formula), Chris Schenkel. Al Michaels and Jim MCKay who had arguably the most difficult task in the history of Olympic television coverage when he was on the air during the hostage terror in Munich. He showed remarkable diversity as a reporter during that tragedy and he showed he knew far more than just sports. His heartfelt announcement that "they are gone; they are all gone" demonstrated remarkable ability, awareness and compassion and it rocked all those who heard his words on live television.

In addition, ABC first introduced Olympic Fanfair as its opening theme and it remains synonymous with the Olympic games.

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Well then, I'm old. I clearly recall the years that ABC owned the Olympic airwaves. ABC created the format NBC uses today complete with the color commentary, the human interest stories, the background information as well as the almost epic quests for Olympic gold. From Squaw Valley, Innsbruck (twice), Tokyo, Grenoble, Mexico City, Sapporo, Nagano, Munich, Montreal, Lake Placid and their final coverage at Calgary--it was ABC's world. Maybe they did some sappy stories but the work done by men such as Roone Arledge (who created the successful coverage formula), Chris Schenkel. Al Michaels and Jim MCKay who had arguably the most difficult task in the history of Olympic television coverage when he was on the air during the hostage terror in Munich. He showed remarkable diversity as a reporter during that tragedy and he showed he knew far more than just sports. His heartfelt announcement that "they are gone; they are all gone" demonstrated remarkable ability, awareness and compassion and it rocked all those who heard his words on live television.

In addition, ABC first introduced Olympic Fanfair as its opening theme and it remains synonymous with the Olympic games.

Not to speak for you, but I think a lot of people from the older crowd have a very nostalgic view of ABC's Olympic coverage and that's why you remember it so fondly. It came in the days where there were 3 TV networks, not 300. ABC has Munich, they had the Miracle on Ice, they had the `84 Summer Olympics with Americans winning medals left and right. NBC's coverage has largely followed the template of their predecessor. There were complaints about it before with ABC. So that's nothing new with what we have now. But television and media have evolved to the point where people want different things. And now they can get them. So people are less satisfied with Olympic coverage. You hear all the time how NBC needs to stop treating the Olympics like a reality show. Well, look at television now. It's full of reality shows because apparently people like reality shows or something. So is it any surprise that NBC and their Olympic coverage to play to that?

There's no way to make everyone happy when it comes to the Olympics. There's too many people in this country and there are too many hours of coverage, not to mention too many ways to bitch and moan about it on the Internet. Again, yes it would be nice to see how another network would do it and what another company's approach to the Olympics would be, especially in the long term. But in the short term, there is no network better equipped to cover and promote the Olympics than NBC and for that, I'm happy they're still the network of the Olympics

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The sad thing is that NBC provided the best American TV coverage for the Olympics that I've ever watched. That was going way back to Seoul. By miles. So, NBC could do it, but Uncle Dick's tried and true formula (I guess it's really Grandpa Roone's) apparently gets more soccer moms to watch, so there you have it. Sochi was the first Olympics I didn't attend since Nagano, so I have to say that it's much better now with the cable channels and live streaming. But yeah, I'd love to see ESPN get a crack at it.

NBC's first full fledged Olympic coverage with Seoul was met with a lot of criticism. Like you alluded to, the issue was that they treated it more like weekend afternoon sports coverage and didn't realize who their audience was and what they wanted. There was a certain portion of the Olympic viewing audience that wants that (who probably loves the cable and streaming coverage now and probably thought the Triplecast in `92 was the greatest thing that ever happened to Olympic television), but they don't make up the majority of the primetime audience for an Olympics. So you can't really fault NBC for playing to that audience. You're right that they tried it the other way, but I've seen that coverage (not at the time, but I have lots of it on tape/DVD) and I can understand why it turned some people off. For better or worse, the television industry in this country is big business. So NBC or whoever is showing the Olympics has to treat it that way. ESPN won't get a crack at it because the business side of it doesn't make sense for them. That's why their bids for past Olympics have been so low. I still think that ESPN covering the Olympics would be a disaster for both sides involved. 15-20 years from now maybe not so much, but in the short term, it's best for all involved that ESPN doesn't get a crack at it.

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NBC's first full fledged Olympic coverage with Seoul was met with a lot of criticism. Like you alluded to, the issue was that they treated it more like weekend afternoon sports coverage and didn't realize who their audience was and what they wanted. There was a certain portion of the Olympic viewing audience that wants that (who probably loves the cable and streaming coverage now and probably thought the Triplecast in `92 was the greatest thing that ever happened to Olympic television), but they don't make up the majority of the primetime audience for an Olympics. So you can't really fault NBC for playing to that audience. You're right that they tried it the other way, but I've seen that coverage (not at the time, but I have lots of it on tape/DVD) and I can understand why it turned some people off. For better or worse, the television industry in this country is big business. So NBC or whoever is showing the Olympics has to treat it that way. ESPN won't get a crack at it because the business side of it doesn't make sense for them. That's why their bids for past Olympics have been so low. I still think that ESPN covering the Olympics would be a disaster for both sides involved. 15-20 years from now maybe not so much, but in the short term, it's best for all involved that ESPN doesn't get a crack at it.

I wouldn't say they treated it like weekend afternoon coverage, at least in prime time. There were athlete stories like all the other Olympics and plenty of commercials, What was different was the amount of live events and the coverage of stories like real journalists. They -gasp- showed live swimming in the morning, and then showed some same races again in prime time. Unthinkable after Uncle Dick joined NBC. There were a lot of controversial things going on at the boxing venue, and NBC did a great job covering it. In fact, the Koreans accused NBC of trying to embarrass the host nation. Today NBC is in so deep with the IOC that all you get is fluff pieces. I honestly don't remember a lot of criticism about the coverage, at least any more so than what ABC got. And I just don't agree with you about ESPN/ABC. But I guess it doesn't matter for at least another 18 years.

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Miracle on Ice? Shown on tape delay.

All you need to know about ABC's coverage.

It was in the afternoon on a weekday. I have no problem giving it to ABC about their coverage back then, but there was only three or four hours a night in those days and that was it. And no one in their right mind thought the U.S. would be within 5 goals of USSR, so why would ABC preempt daytime coverage?

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I wouldn't say they treated it like weekend afternoon coverage, at least in prime time. There were athlete stories like all the other Olympics and plenty of commercials, What was different was the amount of live events and the coverage of stories like real journalists. They -gasp- showed live swimming in the morning, and then showed some same races again in prime time. Unthinkable after Uncle Dick joined NBC. There were a lot of controversial things going on at the boxing venue, and NBC did a great job covering it. In fact, the Koreans accused NBC of trying to embarrass the host nation. Today NBC is in so deep with the IOC that all you get is fluff pieces. I honestly don't remember a lot of criticism about the coverage, at least any more so than what ABC got. And I just don't agree with you about ESPN/ABC. But I guess it doesn't matter for at least another 18 years.

NBC's low Olympic ratings may drive down the fees for the 1992 Barcelona Games

Again, I can't speak to personal experience of having watched these Olympics when they happened, but I have seen plenty of coverage off of tape in the following years and that about sums it up. Yes, there was the usual load of features and athlete stories and commercials (as if other events don't have commercials.. watch a football game or a basketball game and try not to notice all the artificial stoppages in play), and yes the time difference afforded them the opportunity to cover events and stories live. But that wound up being their undoing. Seems like too many times NBC went live somewhere for the sake of going live, even if it was an event that had no business being in primetime. Sure, they were able to manipulate the schedule much moreso than they did for Beijing so it meant that a lot of key events like the men's 100 meter final could be shown live. It's what filled around those events that was the problem. Yes, there was controversy at the boxing venue, but NBC almost spent too much time covering it. Certain days they'd sit there and watch it all unfold where they could have shown coverage from elsewhere. In theory, that sounds like the right way to cover an Olympics, but it's a massive turn-off for the audience when there's so much going on, mostly involving athletes and sports the viewers are unfamiliar with. There's a reason NBC never went back to that formula after `88, and it has nothing to do with Ebersol's arrival.

The funny thing is, and I bring it up every Olympics.. ABC got criticized for a lot of the same things NBC does now. The outcries haven't gotten stronger, they've just because more public thanks to the Internet. The volume of fluff pieces and commercials aren't higher now than they were then. That's just perception taking over. And again, for better or worse NBC is a better partner to the IOC and the Olympic movement than anyone will ever give them credit for. I watched ESPN spend hours this morning talking about Aaron Hernandez's murder indictment. Why? Because football fans are who watch ESPN and that's what drives the cash flow there. The Olympics simply isn't in their wheelhouse. Not in February at the height of basketball season. And not in August when NFL season is starting up. ESPN needs to feed their audience what their audience wants. It's not in their M.O. to play to the audience because it's something they almost never have to do. We'll never know for sure, but let's agree to disagree on the merits of an ESPN Olympics.

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NBC's low Olympic ratings may drive down the fees for the 1992 Barcelona Games

Again, I can't speak to personal experience of having watched these Olympics when they happened, but I have seen plenty of coverage off of tape in the following years and that about sums it up. Yes, there was the usual load of features and athlete stories and commercials (as if other events don't have commercials.. watch a football game or a basketball game and try not to notice all the artificial stoppages in play), and yes the time difference afforded them the opportunity to cover events and stories live. But that wound up being their undoing. Seems like too many times NBC went live somewhere for the sake of going live, even if it was an event that had no business being in primetime. Sure, they were able to manipulate the schedule much moreso than they did for Beijing so it meant that a lot of key events like the men's 100 meter final could be shown live. It's what filled around those events that was the problem. Yes, there was controversy at the boxing venue, but NBC almost spent too much time covering it. Certain days they'd sit there and watch it all unfold where they could have shown coverage from elsewhere. In theory, that sounds like the right way to cover an Olympics, but it's a massive turn-off for the audience when there's so much going on, mostly involving athletes and sports the viewers are unfamiliar with. There's a reason NBC never went back to that formula after `88, and it has nothing to do with Ebersol's arrival.

The funny thing is, and I bring it up every Olympics.. ABC got criticized for a lot of the same things NBC does now. The outcries haven't gotten stronger, they've just because more public thanks to the Internet. The volume of fluff pieces and commercials aren't higher now than they were then. That's just perception taking over. And again, for better or worse NBC is a better partner to the IOC and the Olympic movement than anyone will ever give them credit for. I watched ESPN spend hours this morning talking about Aaron Hernandez's murder indictment. Why? Because football fans are who watch ESPN and that's what drives the cash flow there. The Olympics simply isn't in their wheelhouse. Not in February at the height of basketball season. And not in August when NFL season is starting up. ESPN needs to feed their audience what their audience wants. It's not in their M.O. to play to the audience because it's something they almost never have to do. We'll never know for sure, but let's agree to disagree on the merits of an ESPN Olympics.

From the link you posted, "NBC's production was honest, immediate and technically superb.". That's really the main point I've been making. Given the context of how Olympics were covered at the time, I thought it was by far the best. Not the best from a business standpoint perhaps, but the best in terms of quality. You're free to disagree all you want.

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From the link you posted, "NBC's production was honest, immediate and technically superb.". That's really the main point I've been making. Given the context of how Olympics were covered at the time, I thought it was by far the best. Not the best from a business standpoint perhaps, but the best in terms of quality. You're free to disagree all you want.

Fair enough. Quality Olympic coverage is very much a subjective matter. There's no one size fits all way to cover an Olympics in this country. So when I'm making an argument for or against NBC's coverage, I'm trying to walk a fine line between what's good for them and what I enjoy. As big of an Olympic addict as I am, I'm not really NBC's target audience, mostly because I don't have a vagina. But I can put up with all the fluff because to me, it still gives off the impression that the Olympics are something different and more important than the usual sports fare. And the beauty of coverage these days is that you have the NBC approach plus all the cable coverage, as well as online streaming. So there really is something for everyone.

Again, it's all about personal preference when we're talking about "quality." If NBC's coverage of Seoul (which was decidedly different than anything they've presented since) appealed to you, I'm in no position to argue with that. Just saying there was a lot of criticism heaped on NBC for their style of coverage. Sure it probably appealed to a lot of people, but not to the mass audience that consumes the Olympics, and yes, credit Ebersol for recognizing and acknowledging that, even if the portion of the audience with a Y chromosome isn't a fan of it.

Won't argue for a second that Seoul had a distinct style to it on NBC that they've never gone back to for the most part. But it wasn't without its pitfalls. The coverage may have been honest and immediate, but the problem was that they didn't use their time as efficiently as they should have. And that was a much bigger deal then than it is now when there were fewer hours of coverage. I think that's what led to a lot of criticism, particularly since NBC was essentially an Olympic rookie following ABC's all-American `84 Summer Olympics.

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