Will Comcast Renew Olympics For Nbc?
Questions are being raised about whether Comcast will be as financially extravagant as General Electric in pursuing rights to the Olympic Games when, as is generally anticipated, it takes over control of NBC from GE next year. While some analysts are quoted in today's (Wednesday) New York Times as saying that Comcast executives at NBC are unlikely to be less determined than their predecessors when bidding begins in the spring for media rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, others are noting that the new regime, in the words of Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett, is "eager to show they can make money running NBC, and the Olympics may not be a way of doing it." (NBC reportedly lost $223 million on this year's Olympics.) And former NBC chief Robert Wright told the newspaper, "I don't think anybody at this stage thinks they have to have the Olympics to survive. ... Comcast certainly doesn't have to have the Olympics to make NBC Universal successful." The Times indicated that the International Olympics Committee is likely to seek more than $2.2 billion for the 2014 and '16 games.