Bob Costas fans rejoice! The International Olympic Committee has only chosen venues for its summer games through 2020, but that hasn’t stopped the IOC from quietly striking a nearly $8 billion deal with Comcast to grant NBC exclusive U.S. rights to Olympics broadcasts through 2032, meaning children conceived in the afterglow of Team Canada’s dual Curling wins at Sochi will be adults before they even have the chance to see the games broadcast on another network.
According to the AP, the $7.75 billion accord between Comcast and the IOC has been going on in secret for about six months, during which time no other networks were given a chance to bid.
To repeat: The IOC only negotiated with Comcast for U.S. broadcast rights… for a 10-figure deal… that doesn’t sound like a solid business practice to us; nor does it sound like the U.S. media market is terribly competitive.
It extends NBC’s existing deal, signed in 2011, that had already guaranteed Olympics coverage to the network through the 2020 Summer games in Tokyo.
“This agreement is excellent news for the entire Olympic Movement as it helps to ensure its financial security in the long term,” said IOC President Thomas “Sebastian” Bach, presumably while waiting on the phone to speak to a Comcast customer service rep about the install tech who’d missed his appointment. “The IOC has worked in close partnership with NBC for many decades, and we are thrilled we will continue to work with them through to 2032.”
In an indicator showing just how overly huge Comcast is and how it has virtually no competition in the media world, Bach said he saw no reason to open up the bidding process to other networks.
“We wanted to build on this long-term partnership with NBC,” he explained. ‘We could be sure, we are sure, that the Olympic Games will be presented in a way the Olympic spirit requires and how we see it… We didn’t see any reason to take any risk with regards to broadcast and presentation of the Olympic Games in the United States.”