NBC wins Olympic TV rights through 2020 Games

12:54 PM, Jun 7, 2011   |    comments
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- NBC won the U.S. Olympic TV rights in a new deal for four games.

The broadcast network won the rights for the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 Games. A formal announcement is expected soon.

Executives from NBC, ESPN and Fox submitted sealed envelopesinto a see-through plexiglass box, then left the building to let International Olympic Committee officials open them and consider the offers in private.

It's the first U.S. rights auction since 2003, when NBC secured the 2010 and 2012 Olympics in a deal worth $2.2 billion.

NBC, which has broadcast every Summer Olympics since 1988 and every Winter Games since 2002, was the last of three networks to make a formal presentation to the IOC.

Missing this time was Dick Ebersol, the longtime NBC sports and Olympics chief. He resigned suddenly last month in a dispute with Comcast, the cable giant which took over NBC in January.

Among the 17-member NBC delegation was Bob Costas, who has hosted the network's coverage of eight Olympics.

"I think we had a compelling presentation and I hope they felt the same way," Costas said. "I hope we retain the rights. My message was we've done it well and we'd like to do it again."

Mark Lazarus, who replaced Ebersol as NBC Sports chairman, was asked about not having the former Olympic mastermind with the bid.

"I've never been here with him," Lazarus said. "We have a great team of people who put the best foot forward with our heritage and legacy.'"

NBC's contingent also included CEO Steve Burke and Brian Roberts, the chief executive of Comcast.

Comcast executives have made clear they're not interested in a repeat of the 2010 Vancouver Games, when NBC lost more than $200 million in a rough economy. NBC also stands to take a similar hit from next year's London Olympics.

The 2014 Winter Games will be in Sochi, Russia; the 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

NBC doesn't know where the last two Games will be held. The IOC will select the 2018 host city on July 6 in Durban. The candidates are Annecy, France; Munich; and Pyeongchang, South Korea. The host of the 2020 Olympics will be chosen in 2013, and Rome is the only official contender so far.

(Copyright © 2011, The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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