NBC retains Olympic rights

nbc.gifThe Olympics are staying on NBC. The report out of Lausanne, Switzerland say that Comcast/NBC has retained the U.S. Olympic television rights through 2020 in a deal worth $4 billion.

The network will have exclusive rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2018 Winter Games and 2020 Olympics, whose sites have not yet been chosen. NBC has broadcast every Summer Olympics since 1988 and every Winter Games since 2002.

Some thought NBC was not going to make a strong bid for the Olympics after Sports Chair Dick Ebersol announced his resignation last month. Fox and ESPN also made bids, but NBC remains the U.S. home of the Olympic Games.

IOC President Jacques Rogge said: "We are delighted to have reached an agreement with our longstanding partner NBC. We received three excellent bids and would like to thank each broadcaster for their presentations. In the end we were most impressed with NBC, which not only has a track record for broadcasting the Games that speaks for itself, but also has a clear and innovative vision of where it wants to take the broadcast of the Games between now and 2020. We look forward to continuing to build on our already strong relationship beginning in London next year.''

NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus said, "It is a great thrill to know that NBC’s unsurpassed Olympic heritage and unprecedented partnership with the IOC will continue through 2020. The Olympics are a significant part of NBC and the IOC again recognized NBCUniversal's unmatched ability to promote, market, program and produce the Olympic Games. London, Sochi, Rio and the 2018 and 2020 Games will benefit from our ability to galvanize all the resources of the newly-formed NBC Sports Group to bring the Games to more homes and more platforms than ever.''

In a statement, ESPN said: "We made a disciplined bid that would have brought tremendous value to the Olympics and would have been profitable for our company. To go any further would not have made good business sense for us. We wish to congratulate the IOC on a fair and transparent process, and we offer our best wishes to Comcast/NBC. We put our best foot forward with a compelling offer that included the enthusiastic participation of all of The Walt Disney Company's considerable assets.''

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 3:24pm]

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