Here’s a deal that would make former NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol proud. NBCUniversal, the home of the Olympics dating back to 1988 will continue its current deal that would have expired in 2020 with the Tokyo games and extended it through the year 2032.
This gives NBC rights to all platforms, broadcast and cable TV, internet and mobile rights plus any technology that has yet to be invented. The value is worth a whopping $7.65 billion dollars plus a $100 million signing bonus which will be used by the International Olympic Committee to promote “Olympism and the Olympic values between 2015 and 2020.”
Under the new deal, the first Olympics would be the 2022 Winter Games at a site that has yet to be determined. When the contract expires in 2032, NBC will have aired a total of 23 Olympiads including the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games, 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics and the boycotted 1980 Moscow Olympics.
NBC began its current Olympic legacy with the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea and continued with the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games and the 1996 Atlanta Games. Its first Winter Olympics were the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. In 2011, NBCU won the rights to a new contract that began with this year’s Sochi Games and extends to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. This now ensures that NBC will broadcast every Olympics through the next decade and early into the 2030’s. In addition, NBCUniversal picks up the rights to the Youth Olympic Games through 2032.
This is a pre-emptive strike that prevents ESPN, Fox and any other interested party from bidding on the Olympics until the 2030’s. According to IOC President Thomas Bach, discussions began to extend the deal with NBCUniversal in New York when he was to speak before the United Nations and then continued during the Sochi Olympics in February. There were no discussions with other networks. Bach said he was pleased with the partnership with NBCUniversal and parent company, Comcast and wanted to forge a long-term relationship.
For his part, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said the two Olympics in 2012 and 2014, the first under his company stewardship proved that the Games are a valuable and unique property.
One would have to think that sometime during the new deal that there would be an Olympic Games held in the United States seeing that the last US-based Olympiad was in 2002.
Who is to say down the line that NBCUniversal won’t continue to extend the contract for as long as possible?
As networks lock up long-term deals with sports leagues and organizations, this keeps a signature event under the NBCU umbrella for many years to come.