The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had not been in any rush to auction the US TV rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games until the economy improved, which it has. So Sports Business Daily reports that the IOC will take bids June 6-7 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
NBCUniversal will be fighting to hold onto its Olympics franchise and it was discussed just this week on the quarterly conference call of new owner Comcast. NBC paid $2 billion for the rights to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Games in London.
News Corporation’s Fox and Disney’s ESPN/ABC are expected to make serious bids to take the Olympics away from NBC. Both have plenty of cable networks of their own to do a multi-platform broadcast to match what NBCU is capable of. The report says CBS and Turner Sports, which teamed to buy the NCAA Basketball Tournament rights, have also talked to the IOC but, so far, do not appear to be as aggressive as the other three in bidding.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, recently won the rights to hold the 2016 Summer Games. The 2014 Winter Games will be in Sochi, Russia.