ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, May 29. SWIMMING and gymnastics won big from a new revenue sharing ranking of Olympic sports from the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC executive board promoted swimming governing body FINA and the gymnastics federation FIG into the top tier (Group A) of Olympic revenue sharers, as announced Wednesday by IOC president Jacques Rogge. FINA and FIG join track and field governing body IAAF in the top group.
The IAAF was previously ranked alone at the top of four tiered groups containing the 28 summer Olympic sports. The IAAF received the biggest share of the hundreds of millions of dollars generated from television rights and other deals from each Summer Games. The IAAF got about $45 million from the total of $520 million in revenues being shared among the federations from last year's London Olympics.
The new rankings will ignite debates over how to split the money from the Rio 2016 Games.
FINA released the following statement regarding the IOC's decision:
“We have always considered our Aquatic disciplines a pillar of the Olympics, and this decision confirms this status. Our events are attended by worldwide stars, generate memorable performances and reach a worldwide audience in the five continents. The entire FINA Family must be praised for this achievement, which can only be done with its contribution. We have requested this research in order to establish the FINA fair contribution to the Games programme and we will continue our effort and strategy to make our Sport bigger and more important within the sport business community. FINA is very proud, together with all the International Federations integrating the Olympic programme, to provide its contribution to the success of the Olympic Games, a great celebration of humanity, friendship and fair-play”, said FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione.
However, the IAAF is now expected to receive less than before. IAAF president Lamine Diack voiced his own opinion on the decision.
“Aquatics is a nice sport. Gymnastics is a nice sport,” Diack said. “But you cannot compare with athletics. We are the only sport that makes the games universal. We filled the stadium in London for nine days. The games in Rio will start when the athletics starts. The sport that will make the games special is athletics.”
The decision came after the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), the umbrella group comprising all the sports, asked the IOC to come up with the new sport groupings. However, now the ASOIF will have to decide who gets what share of the money.
“The IAAF will get less money than in the past,” ASOIF director general Andrew Ryan said. “The groups are very important, but we don't know yet how the calculations will work for Rio.”
Sports included in the five group rankings and the amount the groups received under the previous formula:
Second-tier Group B: basketball, cycling, football, tennis and volleyball ($22 million)
Group C: archery, badminton, boxing, judo, rowing, shooting, table tennis and weightlifting ($16 million)
Group D: canoe/kayaking, equestrian, fencing, handball, field hockey, sailing, taekwondo, triathlon and wrestling ($14 million)
Group E: modern pentathlon, golf and rugby (new grouping). Golf and rugby are new sports for Rio, and were put in the bottom rung because there is no way to gauge their revenue impact.
It is reported that the $520 million revenues from London revenues represent a 75 percent increase from the $296 million earned from the 2008 Beijing Games. Athens 2004 brought in $256 million.
Read more at: ESPN Olympic Sports