The International Olympics Committee is meeting in June to decide on who should hold the broadcasting rights for the 2014 Winter Games and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games. 2014’s Winter Games are to be held in Sochi, Russia.
Sports Business Daily says the IOC is to meet on June 6-7 at their Lausanne headquarters in order to review the various bids. Bidders for the US rights reportedly include the current rights holder, NBC, to the London Games in 2012. NBC paid a record $2 billion to secure the London event’s exclusive coverage (and which included the rights to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games). There is also an option on the table for broadcasters to extend their bids to include the 2018 and 2020 games, where host cities have yet to be selected.
Other interested bidders are said to include the fast-growing sports broadcaster ESPN, as well as Fox. CBS and Turner Broadcasting have also reportedly expressed an interest. A recent interview with IOC rights negotiator Richard Carrion said he expected three major US networks to enter the bidding process, and for the final sum to surpass the $2 billion paid for the current TV round. The timetable should see a deal agreed by early July.
European rights traditionally go to the European Broadcasting Union, who will also be negotiating on behalf of Europe’s public broadcasters. Similar bidding activity will take place for the other pan-regional broadcasting consortiums.