May 07, 2014 9:30am PT by Michael O'Connell
NBC Secures Olympic Games Broadcast Rights Through 2032 for $7.65 Billion
The Olympics are staying put at NBC. In a deal worth $7.65 billion, the network has secured stateside broadcast rights to the Games through 2032.
This latest renewal includes six more Games and extends NBCUniversal's already lengthy history with the marquee sporting event. An additional $100 million signing bonus was included in the deal, to be used for the promotion of Olympism between 2015 and 2020. The deal covers broadcast rights across all media platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, Internet and mobile.
Admittedly pricey, it's something of a no-brainer for NBCU. The company gets a dependable ratings surge from the games -- one of the reasons why NBC will finish the current 2013-14 season in first place in the adults 18-49 demographic.
"The Olympics are the world's greatest cultural and athletic event, and presenting them to the American audience is an honor and privilege for our entire company," said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. "Our long-term commitment to and investment in the Olympic Movement are a reflection of our belief in the future of broadcast television, as well as our confidence that our partners at the IOC will continue to deliver great Games and that the Olympics will remain the world's premier sports event. All of us at Comcast NBCUniversal are extremely proud that we have been entrusted to be the U.S. home for nine more Olympics, and we look forward to using all of our resources to continue our tradition of groundbreaking Olympic coverage."
The latest renewal comes just a few weeks after NBCU announced that it made a profit on the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. The Olympics, which come with a hefty price tag, often result in a loss for the network broadcasting them as they provide blanketed coverage over two weeks during each Games. NBCU did not disclose how much of a profit it made during Sochi, but revenue rose 28.8 percent to $6.9 billion during the first quarter of the year.
"This is one of the most important days in the history of NBCUniversal," said NBCU CEO Steve Burke. "The Olympics are part of the fabric of our company, and we couldn't be more excited that today's announcement guarantees that this massively popular and profitable programming will continue to air every two years on the broadcast, cable, digital and mobile platforms of NBCUniversal for the next two decades. No event brings families together like the Olympics, and no one in media is more accomplished or better equipped to tell the athletes' stories than NBC Sports. I want to thank the IOC for their faith in us, as well as Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus and NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel, whose leadership was invaluable in bringing this deal to fruition."
NBCU's last deal, in 2011, brought its pact with the International Olympic Committee through the 2020 games. By 2032, NBC will have covered a total of 23 editions of the Olympic Games since they were first telecast from Tokyo in 1964.
The Games' $7.65 billion price tag is a boon to the financial stability of the Olympics. The IOC distributes north of 90 percent of the revenue it generates to support the International Sports Federations, the 204 National Olympic Committees and their Olympic teams, and the organizing committees of each Olympic Games.
"This agreement is excellent news for the entire Olympic Movement as it helps to ensure its financial security in the long term, in particular future host cities of the Olympic Games, the athletes of the 204 National Olympic Committees and the International Sports Federations," said IOC president Thomas Bach. "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. NBC's expertise in sports broadcasting, as well as their passion for the Olympic values, will mean we shall be able continue to offer first-class broadcast coverage of the Olympic Games to the widest possible American audience for many years to come."