NBC more optimistic about Olympics ad sales


Sports Business Journal reports that despite claims that NBC will lose $200 million on the Vancouver Games, the Peacock Network has seen its ad sales pick up just enough to increase its revenue goals for the event.

NBC has sold 92% of its newly revised sales goal, which is north of $650 million for national sales — a figure that does not include local sales at its O&O stations.

NBC expects total sales revenue for the Vancouver Games to fall in line with the previous two Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and Turin, Italy, which totaled $740 million and $930 million, respectively.

But NBC is paying a much larger rights fee for the Vancouver Games — $820 million — and the story says the newly revised revenue target still is well below the original one set several years ago.

NBC set a 14.0 prime-time household ratings guarantee for the event that begins Feb. 12. The network averaged a 12.2 rating during the 2006 Torino Games and a 19.2 rating during the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

Several Olympic sponsors, including AT&T and Procter & Gamble, a new USOC partner, have bought significant ad time for the event, and global partners like Visa, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s also purchased inventory during prime time.

NBC last lost money on the Olympics in 1992, posting a $99 million loss for the Barcelona Summer Games. It has broadcast six Olympic Games since then and claimed a combined profit of more than $375 million.