01.13.2010 06:00 PM
TV Gears Up for 2010 Winter Olympics
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA: NBC
is preparing to lose money on the 2010 Winter Olympics, while Canada’s broadcasters
gear up for unprecedented coverage. NBC will run 835 hours of Olympics coverage
for the February event, around twice that of the network’s previous winter
Games. (The Olympic torch travels toward Vancouver at left.)
The American network paid $2.2 billion for broadcast rights to the Vancouver
Games and the 2012 Summer Games in London. It paid $894 million for exclusive
U.S. broadcast rights for the 2008 Beijing Games. Despite drawing a record
audience and generating more than $1 billion in revenue for the network, NBC
lost around $150 million on the Beijing Olympics. The network has broadcast the
Olympics in the United States since 2000, when it paid a total of $5.7 billion
for the rights through 2012.
Reporters at the TV Critics Press Association event Sunday quoted NBC Olympics
Executive Producer Dick Ebersol saying that initial ad sales for the Games were
slow but picking up. He said the network would nonetheless likely incur a loss,
even as advertisers prepare huge campaigns.
McDonald’s will feature several Olympic athletes in its ads and on posters and
packaging in franchises, The
New York Times said. Coca-Cola is creating a special ad campaign for
its Vitamin Water line, a Target is using U.S. snowboarder Shaun White in its
The Vancouver Games are now 30 days away. Concerns about weather are dominating
much of the news today. The resort that will be used for the skiing and
snowboarding competition next month has been closed done to preserve the snow, Bloomberg
reports. The closure come more than two weeks earlier than planned.
Temperatures in the area are said to be twice as high as normal.
Fair weather or foul, Canadian broadcasters are planning unprecedented,
multiplatform coverage of the first Olympics on Canadian soil in 22 years.
Canada’s CTV will, for the first time, carry complete event coverage at CTVOlympics.ca. The network itself will
carry live of top stories and all Canadian medal victories. French-language
network V will do the same. Extended TV coverage will be carried on The Sports
Network, Réseau des sports and Rogers Sportsnet. RSN will carry French-language
coverage of all events at RDSolymiquies.ca. CTV News will provide additional coverage of the events.
The networks belong to Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, which also
includes several other cable networks as well as radio stations and The Globe. The group will collectively
cover “every second of every competition live,” according to CTV Olympics news.
In all, the consortium will provide 4,800 hours of coverage in 22 languages on
12 TV channels, 20 radio stations and two dedicated Web sites. Television will
comprise 2,250 hours of coverage, all in hi-def. The Web sites will carry 2,350
hours, and radio will broadcast 200 hours of coverage.
Mobile, live streaming of men’s and women’s hockey and Game highlights will
be available through Bell Mobility. Cinematic coverage will be carried at 64
theaters throughout Canada.
The Vancouver Winter Olympics begin Feb. 12 and run through the 28th. -- Deborah D. McAdams
More on the Olympics:
December 16, 2009: “IOC Looking at $2
Billion for U.S. Olympics Rights”
The International Olympics Committee is expecting
three U.S. networks to bid more than $2 billion for the next available winter
and summer games. The 2014 Winter Olympics are to be held in Sochi, Russia; the
2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro.