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IOC May Delay U.S. TV Deal Again

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND: The International Olympics Committee would like to settle U.S. TV rights for the 2014 and 2016 Games this year, but a delay is possible if the ad market doesn’t heat up, according to a piece from The Canadian Press.

The IOC’s Richard Carrion manages U.S. broadcast rights. He told CP that the committee will decide what to do after the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, next month. He said the IOC would prefer to conduct the bidding this year, but that it will depend on market conditions.

The IOC said last month that it expected at least three U.S. networks to bid more than $2 billion for the rights, which cover the 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Olympics slated for Rio de Janeiro. Carrion told the press that several American networks had expressed interest in bidding, which has already been delayed a year by the recession. There is no deadline for the process.

U.S. broadcast rights are the biggest source of revenue for the IOC. NBC has held them since 2000, paying $5.7 billion for the games through 2012. NBC is expected to bid again for the 2014 and 2016 Games, along with ABC/ESPN, Fox and CBS in partnership with Turner.