Lausanne, Switzerland – NBCUniversal has retained the U.S. broadcast rights for the Olympic Games through 2020. The decision was announced Tuesday by the International Olympic Committee following presentations by NBCUniversal, ESPN and Fox.
The winning bid of $4.38 billion secured exclusive rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as well as the 2018 Winter Games and 2020 Olympics, whose sites have not yet been chosen. NBCUniversal had already captured rights to the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
“For two decades NBC has raised the global level of awareness and support for the Olympic movement. Today’s decision continues and strengthens that vision,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) President and CEO, Bill Marolt. “This secures NBC’s passionate legacy of telling the stories of our athletes through the excitement of skiing and snowboarding.”
NBC has broadcast every Summer Olympics since 1988 and every Winter Games since 2002. Their 2010 Olympic coverage of Vancouver bested American Idol ratings twice during the course of the February Games, ousting the show from the No. 1 spot for the first time in six years.
Earlier this year, NBCUniversal was purchased by cable giant Comcast. Top-tier USSA events including the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup, U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix and other elite level competitions are broadcast annually on NBC, Versus and Universal Sports.
“The USSA congratulates NBC and Comcast in retaining Olympic broadcast rights through 2020. We’re confident that NBC’s long history, tradition and legacy of Olympic broadcasting will only grow with the available media assets and capabilities Comcast brings to the partnership,” said USSA Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Andrew Judelson. “The ability to continue our longstanding relationship will have a positive impact on our own programs with NBC. We look forward to the future.”