CTV-Rogers score Olympics rights
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (CP) ó The Olympics have a new TV home in Canada. And for the first time the price tag of the Winter Games has exceeded that of the Summer Games.
A consortium led by Bell Globemedia, incorporating CTV and Rogers Communications, was awarded Canadian television rights Monday for the plum 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Olympics, another high-profile event with a quintet of glamourous cities bidding to host.
IOC president Jacques Rogge said the winning bid was $153 million US, an increase of 124 per cent on the $73 million spent for the 2006 and 2008 Games.
Of that, $90 million US is for the 2010 Games and $63 million for the 2012 Games.
ìThis is the first time that the amount for the Games exceeds the Summer Games,î IOC Finance Commission chairman Richard Carrion told an IOC news conference.
ìWe certainly believe that 2010 will be the biggest sport events in Canada this decade, may well be the biggest event in Canada this decade,î added Ivan Fecan, president and CEO of Bell Globemedia.
ìWe really felt we needed to be part of it and right at the centre of it. We also think thereís a huge amount of interest, from viewers and advertisers for 2010.î
The winning bid offers a wide-ranging Olympic menu of networks. CTVís subsidiaries include TSN, TQS, RDS and the Outdoor Life Network. Rogers holdings includes Rogers Sportsnet and the Omni channels, plus radio stations.
The winning bid offers round-the-clock coverage.
CTV will get the glamour items on the Olympic calendar, with TSN and Rogers Sportsnet offering more indepth look at certain events. Outdoor Life will also play a role, as will the consortiumís ethnic and aboriginal stations.
In Quebec, TQS will be the main carrier with RDS also helping out in coverage.
More than 4,000 hours of coverage is planned.
Fecan called it the ìmost inclusive (Olympic) coverageî in Canada.
CBC paid a Canadian record $45 million US for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, part of a $165-million US package deal for five Olympics back in 1998.
In contrast, CTV paid $4.3 million US in 1988 for rights to the Calgary Games.
The IOC declined to specify financial details from the CBC bid. But CBCís website, citing sources, said ìthere was a wide disparity in the amount of money each camp was willing to offer.î
Fecan called his offer ìa strategic but responsible bid.î
Itís more bad news for CBC Sports, which is already suffering from the NHL lockout. There had been speculation the network might reduce its amateur sports coverage if it lost the bid.
The loss is also a blow to the prestige of the CBC, which has broadcast every Olympics since 1996, recently sharing coverage with TSN. It also holds the rights to the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
ìWe would like to acknowledge the CBC for their efforts,î Carrion said. ìTheyíve been an excellent partner and will continue to be our partner in 2006 in Turin and 2008 in Beijing.
ìThis was obviously a very good result for the IOC. It was a very hotly contested negotiation.î
CTV broadcast the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, the ë92 Summer Games in Barcelona and the ë94 Winter Games in Lillehammer.
One source told The Canadian Press that CBC went into the bidding knowing they didnít have enough cash to win.
ìThey knew their bid was not going to be enough,î said the source.
ìWhat the strategy was, if it was close, people would look at the fact CBC does a good job of broadcasting the Games and is pretty dedicated to amateur sports in the country.î
But the decision is a resounding victory for the alliance of private broadcasters, led by CTV Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc., and points to the intertwining of media interests.
CTV is owned by BCE Inc., which also owns Bell Canada. Bell paid $200 million Cdn for the telecommunication rights for the 2010 Games.
London, Madrid, Moscow, New York and Paris are all vying to host the 2012 Games. The IOC will decide the 2012 host city July 6 in Singapore.
The stakes are high because of 2010. With the Games in Vancouver, Canadian interest will be sky-high.
NBC has already paid $2.201 billion US for the American television rights for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics. That deal included $820 million US for the 2010 Games.
The IOC will share a percentage of television revenues with the Vancouver Games organizing committee.
Mondayís decision came after each network made a two-hour presentation and then handed over a sealed bid.
The CBC option involved its main network, CBC Newsworld, its French service, the digital channel CBC Country Canada and its radio network. CBC was also allied with The Score on this bid, giving it another cable outlet.
CTV-Rogers score Olympics rights