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NBC Broke Even on London Olympics, Says Top Exec Deadline

First NBC expected to lose money on the London Olympics, and then, when the Games started doing better than anticipated, expectations swung toward the possibility of coming out ahead. But in the end, the company broke even.

That’s the word from NBC Sports Group President Mark Lazarus, speaking today at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit, Deadline.com reports.

Lazarus said strong performances by U.S. athletes helped pump up the ratings for the event, which in turn helped the bottom line.

“NBC had projected a $200M loss, but NBCUniversal boss Steve Burke said last month it might have a shot at breaking even,” Deadline reports. “Advertising sales topped $1B, up 50% from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and 219.4M American viewers tuned in, making the London Games the most-watched TV event ever here.”

The report adds: “NBCUniversal lost $200 million covering the 2008 Vancouver Winter Olympics and since then its new parent company Comcast has ponied up $4.38B for rights to the 2014 and 2016 Games with the expectations it can figure out how to turn a profit.”