A breakdown of bidders for US Olympic TV rights
A breakdown of the three companies bidding for the U.S.
television rights for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics and possibly the
following two games as well.
Strengths: As the longtime home of the Olympics in the United
States, the network offers familiarity for the IOC and for viewers.
The merger with Comcast opens up new platforms to broadcast the
Weaknesses: New bosses at Comcast and NBC Sports chief Dick
Ebersol’s resignation create uncertainty. Comcast executives, not
wanting to lose money on the Olympics again, may not be as
aggressive in bidding as NBC was in the past.
Strengths: The network offers a younger audience while still
providing the platform of one of the country’s big four broadcast
networks. If the IOC likes the model of showing all events live
unlike NBC has in the past, Fox plans to do so. Rupert Murdoch’s
media group has picked up the rights in other countries, showing a
commitment to the Olympics.
Weaknesses: The IOC needs to decide if Fox’s edgier approach
fits with its image and whether it is confident the network can
pull of an event of this magnitude.
Strengths: ESPN offers the flexibility and reach of myriad
platforms and the experience of broadcasting the World Cup. It can
provide legitimacy to hard-core sports fans who may view the
Olympics as less of a serious competition. The network also plans
to show all events live. Parent company Disney has opportunities
for marketing tie-ins.
Weaknesses: Even with the company’s ability to show events on
ABC, the IOC must decide if it feels comfortable with more of a
shift to cable. The IOC must also determine whether an Olympics
produced by a sports-specific network can reach a broader