Winter Olympics a Hit, but NBC Sports Strikes Out Financially - The UpStream

Winter Olympics a Hit, but NBC Sports Strikes Out Financially

posted Sunday Apr 18, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Winter Olympics a Hit, but NBC Sports Strikes Out Financially

As expected, NBC Sports took huge losses for the 2010 Winter Olympics telecast. The Associated Press reported that NBC suffered $225 million in losses from its coverage in Vancouver in February.

However, it's less than what was anticipated. GE projected anywhere from $300 to $500 million in losses, so I guess this can be considered a win for the company. The good news is that NBC took in $800 million in revenue, which can quickly be forgotten as they had to pay out $820 million in production costs and rights fees to the International Olympic Committee.

It seems like every piece of good news surrounding the Olympics is immediately overshadowed by something negative. Ratings were up 14% from the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy. However, NBC expects projected rights fees for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia to be higher than what they paid for Vancouver's coverage. Combine that with the fact that they will be on an 8-hour time difference, thus bringing interest down, and you have a possible recipe for disaster and another year of losses for NBC.

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