NBCU Inks Landmark $7.65 Billion Deal for More Olympics Coverage

May 7, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Updated at 11:15 a.m. PT on May 7, 2014, to include information from BloombergBusinessweek and Reuters.

The International Olympic Committee announced today it has extended its partnership with NBCUniversal in a landmark deal that will keep the Olympic Games on NBC and its affiliated platforms through the 2032 Games.

TheWrap.com reports that the deal is valued at $7.65 billion.

"The network now has the next nine Games locked up across all media platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, Internet and mobile," the story reports. "The agreement from 2021 to 2032 is valued at $7.65 billion, plus an additional $100 million signing bonus 'to be used for the promotion of Olympism and the Olympic values between 2015 and 2020,' according to an IOC release."

NBCU already had the Olympics locked in through 2020 in a deal signed in 2011. That deal included the Rio Games in 2016, PyeongChang in 2018 and Tokyo in 2020. Host cities have yet to be named for subsequent Games.

"In addition, NBCU also has acquired the broadcast rights for every edition of the Youth Olympic Games through to 2032. By 2032, NBCU will have covered a total of 23 editions of the Olympic Games, since its first Games broadcast in Tokyo in 1964," TheWrap reports.

In a statement, IOC President Thomas Bach, who was the IOC's lead negotiator on the deal, said: “This agreement is excellent news for the entire Olympic Movement as it helps to ensure its financial security in the long term, in particular future host cities of the Olympic Games, the athletes of the 204 National Olympic Committees and the International Sports Federations.”

NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, in an internal memo, reportedly called today, the day of the announcement, “one of the most important days in NBCUniversal history.”

Burke's memo cited the ratings for the Sochi Winter Games earlier this year, saying: “In 2014 we not only beat the combined primetime network competition by 45 percent in viewership, but also won every single night. Not one competitive show beat the Sochi Olympics in primetime.”

A bigger question might be how well the Olympics have done for NBC financially. According to a story last month in BloombergBusinessweek, "Calculating profit isn’t as straightforward as subtracting NBC’s investment from the revenue it made at the Olympics; some companies that bought Olympic ads would have spent that money on ads placed in NBC shows. But the [Sochi] numbers compare favorably to past Olympics.

"General Electric (GE), which owned NBC in 2010, said it made $800 million in revenue from the Vancouver Games but lost $223 million overall. Comcast said the 2012 Games [in London] earned slightly more — $1.2 billion in revenue — but it also spent significantly more for the broadcast rights because basketball is more popular than curling."

NBC said it broke about even on the London Games. The BloombergBusinessweek story adds: "Comcast, which now owns NBCUniversal, has said for several years that it expected the Sochi Games to be profitable. While it hasn’t definitely declared success, the company did say on [April 22, 2014] that it took in $1.1 billion in revenue from the Games. It spent about $775 million to acquire the rights to the Games, and its total investment was $875 million, according to Bloomberg News."

A Reuters story written just before the Sochi Games made this point: "The biggest boom for NBC, however, won't likely come from Sochi. The Games' large audience will help promote NBC's prime-time lineup, whose ratings have surged so far this year. And it should give a boost to Jimmy Fallon, as he takes over the 'Tonight Show' from Jay Leno on February 17."

That it did, very well.

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