NBC Extends Olympic Franchise Through 2012 with $2+ Billion Bid

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, June 16. NBC Sports extended its lock on Olympic TV coverage last week after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) accepted its combined bid of $2 billion for the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2012 Summer Games. The sites for those Games have not yet been selected.

That's going to translate to a lot of commercials between events — or will that be a handful of events between commercials?

NBC bid $1.18 billion for the 2012 Summer Games and $820 million for the 2010 Winter Games. The price was a third greater than the $1.5 billion NBC bid for the 2006 and 2008 Games.

The bid was sweetened by a $200 million commitment from NBC's parent corporation, General Electric to become a worldwide Olympic sponsor.

NBC outbid offers by ABC, ESPN and Fox.

Dick Ebersol, Chairman of NBC Sports, commented: "The Olympics are good business for NBC. We at GE and NBC prize this relationship above all others."

The deal lengthens NBC's string of successful bids. When he 2012 Games are broadcast, NBC will have carried seven consecutive Games and 10 of the last 13.

The Rome Olympics of 1960 were the first Games to be broadcast. CBS paid $394,000 for the rights. NBC paid $1.5 million for the broadcast rights to the '64 Tokyo Games, a price that tripled to the $4.5 million ABC paid for rights to the '68 Olympics in Mexico City.

ABC paid $7.5 million in '72 for Munich and $25 million four years later in Montreal.

NBC outbid its rivals for the boycotted Moscow Games in 1980 with an offer of $87 million, a figure that skyrocketed to $225 million four years later in Los Angeles.

Since Seoul in 1988, NBC has won every bid: $300 million in 1988; $401 million in '92; $456 million in '96; $705 million in 2000; $793 million in 2004; and $894 million in 2008. The Winter Games are done separately.