The International Olympic Committee didn’t take competitive bids the way it did in 2011 — when Fox and ESPN joined the fray — before accepting Comcast’s $7.65B offer to carry the games in the U.S. through 2032. But the $1.4B increase in the outlay by the owner of NBCUniversal “is not small” for the IOC its president, Thomas Bach, said today in a conference call. NBC has handled 23 Olympics beginning with the Tokyo games in 1964 and the IOC “wanted to build on this long term partnership with NBC so we could be sure, and we are sure, that the Olympic games will be presented in a way the Olympic spirit requires.” He vowed that more than 90% of the revenue will go to organizers of future Olympics, giving planners financial security.
Related: NBC Nabs Olympics Rights Through 2032
Comcast chief Brian Roberts says he felt comfortable making the offer, even though he doesn’t know where the future games will be held, after his company recorded a profit from London and Sochi. Plans to combine the cable company’s “technology leadership and X1 platform” with NBC’s storytelling expertise mean “we’ve only begun to scratch the surface,” Roberts says.
Th execs began their private talks to extend their partnership at a private dinner in NYC in November, and continued the conversation at Sochi. Bach says he was so eager to work with a trusted collaborator that he was satisfied with a handshake, although “the lawyers insisted that we even sign some papers.” Execs offered few additional details about the terms, including whether NBCU’s Telemundo might air the games in Spanish. Read More »
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today awarded NBCUniversal (NBCU) the broadcast rights in the USA for the Olympic Games through 2032. NBCU has acquired the broadcast rights across all media platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, internet and mobile. The agreement from 2021 to 2032 is valued at $ 7.65 billion, plus an additional $100 million signing bonus to be used for the promotion of “Olympism” and “Olympic values” between 2015 and 2020.
Today’s announcement: Read More »
The Sochi Olympics generated more than $1.1B in revenue which enabled NBCUniversal to propel the cable giant’s strong financial results. Comcast generated $1.87B in net income attributable to the company, +30.2% vs the first three months of 2013, on revenues of $17.4B, +13.7%. The top-line number beat the $17.04B that analysts expected. Earnings not including one-time items came in at 68 cents a share, ahead of the consensus forecast of 64 cents. With the Olympics dough, NBCU revenues increased 28.8% to $6.88B with operating cash flow +37.6% to $1.31B. The broadcast operation led the way with a 72.8% boost in revenues to $2.6B — but still would have been up 17% without the Games due to a 15.8% increase in ad sales from NBC’s improved ratings. Cable network revenue increased 12.6% to $2.5B, but would have been up just 1% without the Olympics. due to a 1.4% drop in ad sales.
Related: Comcast Expects NBC To Catch Up To Rivals In Upfront Ad Market
At the smaller Universal filmed entertainment operation, revenues increased 11.1% to $1.4B with help from Ride Along and Lone Survivor and overseas sales for The Wolf Of Wall Street. And theme park revenues increased 5.4% to $487M as per capita spending increased while attendance remained stable. The core cable business also did well — even with video subscriptions, up by 24,000 to 22.6M. Revenues for all of the cable systems offerings including broadband increased 5.3% to $10.8B due to rate hikes, upselling, and customer growth. Read More »
The 2015 Oscars date was set last year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when they announced the 2014 date, which shifted a week owing to a conflict with the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Olympics. New today are dates for the nominations announcement — Thursday, January 15 — which gives voters about five weeks before final ballots are due February 17. The past couple of years members had six weeks to see everything and cast their ballots. The Governors Awards are set for November 8. Here is this season’s timeline:
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network today announced the dates for the 87th Oscars. The Academy Awards presentation will air live on ABC on Oscar® Sunday, February 22, 2015. Key dates for the Awards season are:
Saturday, November 8, 2014
The Governors Awards
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Official Screen Credits and music submissions due
Monday, December 29, 2014
Nominations voting begins 8 a.m., PT
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Nominations voting ends 5 p.m., PT
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Oscar nominations announced
Monday, February 2, 2015
Oscar Nominees Luncheon
Friday, February 6, 2015
Final voting begins 8 a.m., PT
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Scientific and Technical Awards
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Final voting ends 5 p.m., PT
Sunday, February 22, 2015
87th Academy Awards begins 7 p.m., ET/ 4 p.m., PT
ABC’s Good Morning America attracted more overall viewers on Monday, despite the best efforts of NBC’s Today show to hang on to its Sochi ratings bump – but Today hung on to the important demo win. GMA outstripped Today by 89,000 viewers overall. The first day after the most recent previous Games — the 2012 London Summer Olympics — GMA had finished behind Today by 301,000 viewers. Today beat GMA on Monday by 92,000 news demo viewers; the Monday after the London Games, Today beat GMA by 102,000 demo viewers.
It’s the first time GMA has beaten Today among total viewers the Monday following the end of the Olympics (when NBC aired the games) since at least 1991. Monday’s Today featured Olympic athletes, a kiss-and-make-up between Al Roker and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who came to cut the ribbon on Today‘s re-done outdoor space, and the removal of Today talent makeup as part of a “Love Your Selfie” series on body image.
What with the recently wrapped Winter Olympics competition results being known well in advance of NBC‘s various Olympics broadcasts, and the United States coming in fourth in number of gold medals scored, behind Russia (13), Norway (11), and Canada (10) (U.S. was No. 2 in overall medal count, behind Russia), many of NBC’s most buzz-worthy Sochi moments were all about — NBC. Which, presumably, is the future of broadcast network primetime Games coverage. How successful was NBC? Here’s a look at the 4 Big NBC Moments At Sochi:
“I’m Bob Costas, sitting in tonight for Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira,” Costas joked when he finally returned as NBC’s Primetime Games anchor after six days on the sick list while doctors treated his Twitter-trending double eye infection. The incident was historic, because it broke Costas’ 14-year Olympic anchoring streak and Vieira became the first woman ever to get the gig, if only temporarily.
Bode Miller’s Tears
When Olympian Bode Miller doubled over weeping as NBC peppered him with questions about his dead brother, after winning the Super-G bronze medal, social media response was savage. NBC Olympics EP Jim Bell insisted it would have been “irresponsible” of the network not to have asked Miller about his brother, who died in April, after setting up that storyline before Bode’s run. But what saved NBC, ironically, was Miller coming to the network’s rescue the next morning on Today show, saying interviewer Christin Cooper is “a sweetheart of a person” who he knows “didn’t mean to push” adding, “I do not blame her at all. I feel terrible that she’s taking the heat for that.” For years NBC has used this super-personal strategy in its Olympics coverage, thinking it connects viewers with the athletes and the Games. Also at Sochi, Meredith Vieira asked silver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace about a miscarriage she suffered a few years ago and the role it played in her decision to come back from Olympics retirement. Read More »
The most expensive Olympics ever ended today in Sochi, Russia. NBC broadcast the Closing Ceremony in primetime tonight. Here’s NBC’s version of that ceremony:
8:25 PM ET: NBC’s walk up to the Closing Ceremony is its one-hour docu on Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding which, Kerrigan tells Bob Costas when it’s over, was difficult to watch and “doesn’t matter” any more, in re whether Harding knew in advance about the plan to club Kerrigan in the knee. Seems about right. It will be interesting to see what kind of ratings this debbie-downer lead-in pulls for NBC.
8:28 PM ET: Bob Costas plugging Rio Summer Games, eating up precious minutes. Does this mean we won’t get the see the Closing Ceremony’s honoring of Russian authors Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, Checkhov and others too numerous (and tough to spell) to mention?
Related: Bob Costas Makes Return To NBC Olympics Coverage
8:35 PM ET: Al Michaels, Chris Collinsworth, and Vladimir Pozner are hosting. Little girl Luba — Love to her friends — from Opening Ceremony is back, and two clowns are guiding a flying boat into the arena. Why a clown, Pozner asks, rhetorically. In Russia, he explains, “the clown is the hero.” Dancers on the floor of the arena, who are dressed in tin foil-y caftans, are soon to go into the Olympic ring configuration you’ve probably already … Read More »
NBC To Bring Back ‘Heroes’ As 13-Episode Event Miniseries In 2015: Video
By Nellie Andreeva – On the heels of Fox reviving its iconic drama 24 as an event miniseries, NBC is doing the same with one of its most popular serialized dramas of the past decade, superhero series Heroes. Creator Tim Kring is back shepherding the 13-episode new standalone arc entitled Heroes: Reborn, which will air in 2015.
Matt Ryan Lands Title Role In NBC Pilot ‘Constantine’ Based On DC Comic
By Nellie Andreeva – Welsh actor Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior) is finalizing a deal to play the lead in NBC’s drama pilot Constantine, from Warner Bros TV. Based on the characters in DC Comics’ John Constantine stories, the project centers on John Constantine (Ryan), an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond.
Netflix Agrees To Pay Comcast For Broadband Access; Public Knowledge Calls For FCC, DOJ Action
By Jen Yamato – There may be smoother streaming ahead for Netflix subscribers as Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for direct broadband access. Comcast had previously denied Netflix’s request to connect to its broadband network free of charge, sending Netflix users’ streaming content through third party internet providers to access Comcast’s network.
CNN’s ‘Piers Morgan Live’ Ratings Sink To Second Lowest Ever, CNN Ties Sixth Worst Primetime Result
By Dominic Patten – Piers Morgan’s rocky ratings just took another dive for CNN. On Tuesday, the Brit’s 9PM show had its second worst result ever in the all important adults 25-54 news demographic. With a total audience of 270,000 watching, Piers Morgan Live drew a mere 50,000 viewers in the demo. Read More »
UPDATE: 8:45 PM: Jimmy Kimmel revealed on his ABC late-night program tonight that the video of a wolf posted to YouTube by U.S. luger Kate Hansen with the message “I’m pretty sure this is a wolf wandering my hall in Sochi” was in fact a wolf in Los Angeles walking down a replica of the hall outside Hansen’s Sochi hotel room. Hansen agreed to let Kimmel’s people take over her Twitter account to post the video, he said. Like the last time Kimmel punked the media with his fake twerk-fail video, he ran clips of various news outlets he’d fooled — many of them ruminating as to whether the animal actually was a wolf, a husky, a malamute, or a mutt. Kimmel showed the rest of the video, in which he is seen skiing down the hallway, calling out the name “Garfield” and asking, “Have you seen my wolf?” Kimmel then interviewed Hansen via Skype, who said “there was a little more backlash” at the hotel than she’d anticipated, including security staff who, she said, were “freaking out” after word of the video got around. “It kind of went a little crazy here,” she said. The animal is a “timber wolf mix,” its handler said, believed to be 80%-90% wolf, though she was not certain, and is named Rugby. Read More »