Chicago snubbed in Olympics bid


Broadcasters bidding for the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games rights won’t be going after the big draw of a 2016 Summer Games in the United States. In a surprise move Friday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) turned thumbs down on the Chicago bid in its first round of voting. The eventual winner was Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Bidding for the US broadcast rights is expected to be fierce for the 2014 and 2016 games, with NBC Universal expected to bid aggressively to defend its turf while other US broadcast/cable giants try to take it away. But the bidding could not take place until the site of the 2016 Summer Games had been decided. Friday’s IOC selection of Rio likely means less money than the organization could have expected with the games in Chicago.

The selection of Rio was not a surprise. It had been considered a top contender and the Summer Games, amazingly, have never been held in South America. What was surprising was that Chicago, which had been considered the other favorite along with Rio, was voted out in the first round. President Barack Obama and Opra Winfrey had both gone to Copenhagen to personally lobby the IOC delegates on behalf of their hometown – but to no avail. Tokyo and Madrid were then eliminated, leaving Rio triumphant.

The 2014 Winter Games will be held in Sochi, Russia.

RBR-TVBR observation: The good news for the eventual US rights holder is that an Olympics in South America will be in synch with clocks in North America. Rio’s time zone is just one hour ahead of US Eastern Time.