NBC Outbids ESPN, Fox To Broadcast Olympics

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jun. 8, 2011
  • Updated Jun. 9, 2011 at 10:25 AM UTC
Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts was instrumental in securing the winning bid for NBC/Comcast.

Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts was instrumental in securing the winning bid for NBC/Comcast.

The network is partnering with Comcast.

NBC is taking the broadcasting of the Olympic games for the next six years pretty seriously. How serious?

$4.38 billion serious.

On Tuesday, NBC along with Comcast outbid Fox and ESPN for the rights from 2014 to 2020.

This feat was pulled off without the presence of former NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol who had famously led the NBC coverage of the Olympics since 1992. This time, the wheeling and dealing was spearheaded by Comcast chairman Brian Roberts and new NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus.

Naturally, an IOC member, Richard Carrion, the chairman of the group’s finance committee, used a medal analogy to describe the NBC/Comcast victory. “There is only a gold medal, and these guys have won the gold medal,” he said.

The winning bid includes $775 million for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, $1.2 billion for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, 963 million for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and $1.42 billion for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

“We think this will be a profitable relationship for NBC Universal,” said Roberts about the deal. “By having a decade, eight more years for more games, we will have an opportunity to build up a lot of assets. We are confident that we will build value for our shareholders and have a profitable relationship.”
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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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