UPDATE: I’m told that there’s less than meets the eye to the ballyhooed “access” Yahoo says it will offer to “all of NBCOlympics.com’s exclusive digital video rights.” That simply means Yahoo will have links to the NBC site — not streams of the programming itself.
PREVIOUS: This is an extension of a previous deal between the companies according to a Tumblr post from Yahoo VP Ken Fuchs. The agreement includes access to “all of NBCOlympics.com’s exclusive digital video rights, including live competition streams and highlights, the creation of a digital Olympics daily show, and the showcase of Yahoo products through NBC’s digital and broadcast coverage of the Games.” Sportscasters from Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports will team for news and analysis on the digital platforms. In addition, the TV broadcasts will integrate material from Yahoo Search, Flickr and Tumblr “to tap into the pulse of the American Olympic fan during the Sochi Games.” Today’s announcement comes a little more than a year after Yahoo and NBC Sports unveiled their partnership for event coverage. The digital company and NBC also have a content sharing deal for CNBC, and this year Yahoo became the online home for the Saturday Night Live archives.
TV networks should be encouraged by the ad forecasts presented this morning at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. Global spending on the medium will grow 7.7% in 2014, up from +1.8% this year, Magna Global EVP Vincent Letang says, In the U.S., broadcast TV will benefit most from the mid-term elections and Winter Olympics. Spending will increase 9.3%, in contrast to this year’s 5.7% drop. Cable will be +7.8% vs. +4.4% in 2013. Much of the growth will come from technology and telecom companies as they introduce game consoles and gadgets — but auto and pharmaceutical spending will rise. Entertainment, however, will be down in 2014, due in part to efforts by studios to trim their release slates. Political spending likely will be about a third higher than it was in 2010 at $3B, Letang says. He also expects about $600M in spending around the Winter Olympics. Generally speaking “television and digital media are sharing the eyeballs and dollars that print and radio are losing,” Letang says.
Dan Patrick and Rebecca Lowe will host NBCSN’s live weekday and weekend coverage and Lester will anchor weekday afternoon coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia, NBC Olympics said today. They join previously announced Bob Costas, NBC’s primetime and late night host, and Al Michaels, who will serve as host for NBC on weekend afternoons and NBCSN on weekdays. Patrick is co-host of NBC’s Football Night In America and previously hosted NBC’s daytime coverage at the 2012 London Olympics. Lowe joined NBC Sports Group this year as host of its exclusive Premier League coverage in the U.S. And Holt is anchor of Dateline, weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News and co-anchor of NBC’s weekend edition of Today. He previously served as a sports desk reporter for the 2012 London, 2010 Vancouver, 2008 Beijing and 2006 Torino Games. The Winter Games begin on February 6.
As I first revealed in a November 28th exclusive (and then again Dec 31 ) the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences would not be moving the Oscar show any earlier than Mid-February and most likely not at all despite rampant, and wrong, media speculation elsewhere (both before and after the Deadline article appeared) that they were indeed going to shift the 2013 show a month earlier to late January. Not only was this not going to happen for next year’s show, it also is not in the cards for 2014, because the same configuration of dates and conflicts exist there too – and then some. ABC has a say in all this, as well as the Academy of course, and they did not want the late January date according to my plugged-in source. Feb 3rd is the Super Bowl and the following Sunday is the BAFTA awards and will likely be the Grammys (which narrowly eclipsed the Oscar ratings this year for the first time ever, largely due to the death of Whitney Houston the night before). The earliest the show could go was February 17th, just a week earlier than usual and as I wrote in November the Board would have to decide whether moving up just a few days was worth it. The Academy’s Board of Governors had a meeting last night and obviously they decided leave it on the same weekend it usually takes place, so February 24th at the Not-Kodak Theatre is it. Since Oscar ratings were up this … Read More »
Comcast’s NBCUniversal will face a potentially serious programming and financial challenge in 2018 now that the International Olympic Committee has announced that the Winter Games that year will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The media company recently agreed to pay $4.4 billion for the domestic TV rights to the four Olympics between 2014 and 2020 — even though it didn’t know where the final two would be held. Barclays Capital projected that Comcast would lose about $127 million in the 2018 games. But that calculation could look optimistic now that we know where the events will be held. The problem is the time difference: Pyeongchang is 14 hours ahead of New York in the winter. That likely means NBC will have few, or no, popular events that it can broadcast live in prime time. The Winter Games in 2014 will be in Sochi, Russia, and the summer events in 2016 will be in Rio de Janeiro.
UPDATE, 12:00 PM: NBC says it paid $4.38 billion for the four Olympics matches. But the network won because NBC’s track record with the games “speaks for itself” and the company “has a clear and innovative vision of where it wants to take the broadcast of the Games between now and 2020,” International Olympics Committee President Jacques Rogge says. Investors initially appear to be satisfied with the price that Comcast authorized NBC to pay. Even if the network loses money “we continue to see the Olympics as less of a financial decision and more of a strategic and branding initiative” for NBC, Wells Fargo Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker says. Comcast expects the Olympics to help stabilize NBC, which the cable company has vowed to revive. In addition. Comcast plans to use the games to beef up its cable networks Versus and The Golf Channel.
PREVIOUS, 10:00 AM: Deadline has now confirmed that NBC has retained the U.S. Olympic television rights in a 4-games deal through 2020. The AP was first to report the news out of Lausanne where the International Olympics Committee is meeting and puts the bidding number at ”worth more than $4 billion” — which is $1 billion less than expected. The decision has not yet been officially announced by the International Olympic Committee, but NBC is acknowledging it won a 3-way bidding contest against ESPN and Fox. It will have exclusive rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, as well as the 2018 Winter Games and 2020 Olympics, whose sites have not yet been chosen. NBC has broadcast every Summer Olympics since 1988 and every Winter Games since 2002.
Executives from NBC, ESPN and Fox submitted sealed envelopes into a see-through plexiglass box, then left the building to let IOC officials open them and consider the offers in private for the first U.S. rights auction for the Olympics since 2003. All three networks kept emphasizing in their presentations that the Olympics would be presented live, something which NBC has come under fire for because of all the tape-delaying of the games to air during primetime in recent years. Here’s hoping that NBC changes its ways without Dick Ebersol at the helm. That said, the NBC win is going to help Comcast’s long-range plans to make its sports network into a juggernaut able to challenge both ESPN and Fox Sports.
NBC’s presentation to the IOC included new Comcast owners Steve Burke and Brian Roberts. Missing, of course, was longtime NBC sports czar Dick Ebersol who resigned last month after butting heads with Comcast. But the 17-member NBC delegation included mainstay Olympics host Bob Costas. ”My message was we’ve done it well and we’d like to do it again,” he said from Lausanne. Read More »