News - Olympic Games

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By Duncan Mackay

Hobart 2022 Youth Olympic Games Bid City.June 12 - Hobart could be set to launch a bid for the 2022 Summer Youth Olympics, if plans proposed by the Hobart Organising Group for Major Events (HOGME) are given the go-ahead.

The group have shifted their focus to the Youth Games after their plans to try to bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics received little support from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) or the Tasmanian Government.

Their plans included building a 100,000-seat stadium named after champion woodchopper David Foster, as well as honouring champion cricketers with a [David] Boon Centre and a [Ricky] Ponting Dome.

Ben Waterworth, the President of the HOGME, claimed that they had decided to bid for the Youth Olympics because they offered a more realistic target.

"Obviously our campaign to bring the Olympics to Hobart in 2020 faced some challenges along the way," he said.

"We now hope that by campaigning for the Youth Olympics it creates an even more realistic hope of bringing the greatest show on earth to our great city."

The inaugural Summer Youth Olympics were held in Singapore last year when more than 3,500 athletes from 205 countries competed in 201 events in 26 sports.

The Winter Youth Olympics is due to debut in Innsbruck in January 2012.

The 2014 Summer Youth Olympics are scheduled to be held in Nanjing.

But the plan to bid for the Youth Olympics has not created any more enthusiasm than the original proposal to launch a campaign for the 2020 Olympics did.·

"While I admire the enthusiasm and passion of Mr Waterworth, the State Government is not currently in a position to commit the level of funding required to support a bid to host a Youth Olympic Games in Tasmania," said Michelle O'Byrne, Tasmania's Sports Minister.

The International Olympic Committee are not due to award the 2022 Games until 2018.

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Source: www.insidethegames.biz
By Duncan Mackay

Nawal El Moutawakel.June 7 - Nawal El Moutawakel will today lead the start of latest visit of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Coordination Commission visit to Rio de Janeiro to inspect how preparations are going for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

During the three-day visit, the Commission will meet members of the Organising Committee and representatives from the Federal, State and City Governments, hold workshops and visit a number of the proposed sites.

The Commission, which also includes IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games, Gilbert Felli, was greeted by Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, who is confident that they will be happy with what they find in the city.

"Once again, we will show that things are going very well," he said.

"We are about a year in advance of the schedule imposed by the IOC.

"Our expectation is that, even with possible problems that may arise, we are on schedule.

"We have two BRT (bus rapid transport system) and subways running, work on the Olympic Village should begin by the end of the year."

The Commission, which also includes other high-profile IOC members Alex Gilady, Alexander Popov, Beatrice Allen, C K Wu, Gunilla Lindberg, John Coates, Sergey Bubka and Patrick Hickey, is currently visiting Rio once a year but will double its number of visits following London 2012.

"The visits helps the Government and Organising Committee to prepare properly for 2016," said Paes.

"We welcome them."

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Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By Duncan Mackay

IOC President Rogge (pictured above centre with Roberts on left and Carrion on right)June 7 - NBC have retained the rights to broadcast the Olympics in a $4.38 billion (£2.66 billion) deal through until the 2020 Games, it has been announced tonight.

Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), made the announcement that they had beaten rival bids from Disney's EPSN and Rupert Mudoch's Fox Sports during a special teleconference.

The decision follows all three channels making presentations to a panel of top officials, including Rogge and Richard Carrion, the Puerto Rican who is the chairman and chief executive of financial services conglomerate Popular, Inc.

Fox officials made their presentation first yesterday, followed this morning by EPSN and this afternoon by NBC.

At the end of NBC's presentation, each network placed a sealed envelope containing its bid into a plexiglass box.

The deal is valued $775 million (£471 million) for Sochi 2014, $1.226 billion (£745 million) for Rio 2016, $963 million (£585 million) for 2018 and $1.418 billon (£862 million) for 2020.

"We had an obligation to pick the best bid on behalf of the entire Olympic Movement," said Carrión, a member of the IOC's ruling Executive Board.

"We assessed each bid against a thorough set of criteria and believe that the long-term nature of this agreement will not only ensure fantastic Olympic broadcast coverage in the US, but also support the long-term financial stability of the Olympic Movement as a whole.

"NBC has proven its worth time and again over the years and we're very excited to continue working with them."

NBC, who are now majority owned by parent company Comcast with Olympic worldwide sponsor General Electric having a 49 per cent share, have been broadcasting the Summer Olympics since Seoul 1988 and the Winter Games since Salt Lake City in 2002.

Their current deal is due to finish after they have broadcast next year's Olympics in London.

The new one will cover the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

It will also include the 2018 Winter Olympics - which will be held in either Annecy, Munich or Pyeongchang - and the 2020 Summer Games, for which Rome is the only confirmed bidder so far.

"We are honoured to continue as the US Olympic broadcaster for the remainder of this decade," said Brian Roberts, the chairman and chief executive of Comcast.

"The vision for our new Comcast-NBCUniversal was to create new platforms and technologies to distribute the very best content.

"Every two years the Olympic Games provides iconic content for us to deliver on all platforms.

"We are proud to continue the rich heritage and long association that NBC has had with the IOC and I personally want to thank President Jacques Rogge and Richard Carrion for their long-term trust."

NBC claimed that the rights cover the broadcasting right on "every now known or to be known" platform, including mobile and tablet.

The deal is a coup for Rogge (pictured above centre with Roberts on left and Carrion on right), who has guaranteed the financial stability of the IOC beyond his own Presidency, which is due to end when he steps down in 2013.

"We are delighted to have reached an agreement with our longstanding partner NBC," he said.

"We received three excellent bids and would like to thank each broadcaster for their presentations.

"In the end we were most impressed with NBC, which not only has a track record for broadcasting the Games that speaks for itself, but also has a clear and innovative vision of where it wants to take the broadcast of the Games between now and 2020.

"We look forward to continuing to build on our already strong relationship beginning in London next year."

It was NBC's first Olympic deal since 1988 without Dick Ebersol, the head of NBC Sports, who resigned last month after helping to engineer eight winning bids.

He was replaced by former Turner Broadcasting executive Mark Lazarus, who headed NBC's presentation.

Eight years ago, NBC bid $2.2 billion (£1.3 billion) for the 2010 Vancouver Games and the 2012 Summer Games.

NBC outbid Fox, which offered $1.3 billion (£790 million).

NBC lost $233 million (£142 million) on the Vancouver Olympics, from which they broadcast 835 hours of coverage across broadcast, cable and online/

It will have an even bigger platform for the next Olympics.

The company was acquired by Comcast earlier this year, and now Versus, Comcast's cable sports network key, is part of the NBC Sports portfolio.

In 1995, NBC bid $3.5 billion (£2.1 billion) for five Olympics, getting the Games from 2000 to 2008, when the IOC did not listen to offers from any other bidders.

ESPN, in a statement after its unsuccessful bid, did not say whether it made a four-Games bid as NBC did with its winning bid.

"To go any further would not have made good business sense for us," they said.

"We put our best foot forward with a compelling offer that included the enthusiastic participation of all of The Walt Disney Company's considerable assets."

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Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By Duncan Mackay

June 6 - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Fox Sports today begun the bidding for the rights to broadcast the Olympics in the United States after London 2012 by revealing that they would like to secure a deal through until the Games in 2020, even though that event will not be awarded to a host city for more than two years.

Their offer ups the stakes for NBC, the current rights holders, and ESPN, who are both due to make their presentations to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne.

Fox's delegation was led by chairman David Hill, who helped launch BSkyB in Britain and negotiate the deal with England's Premier League that has transformed football across Europe.

Up for grabs are the television rights for the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

But Hill wants to also tie up a deal for the 2018 Winter Olympics - which will be awarded to either Annecy, Munich or Pyeongchang - and the 2020 Summer Games, for which the only confirmed bidder so far is Rome.

"We're going to go for four," he told Associated Press after Fox's presentation.

Such a deal is expected to cost between $4 and $5 billion (£2.4 and £3.1 billion).

"If you look at amortization, you have to make a major investment in technical hardware," said Hill.

"Anyone will tell you if you advertise that over four years rather than two years, you're financially in a much better place."

The three bidders are due to submit sealed bids after the presentations are completed tomorrow afternoon.

A decision could be made by the IOC as soon as tomorrow evening.

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Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By Duncan Mackay

Michael Phelps. Photo: APJune 5 - A figure of more than $4 billion (£2.4 billion) could be tabled by one of the major United States television networks when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) begin meetings in Lausanne tomorrow to decide which channel should broadcast the Olympics after London 2012.

Richard Carrion, the Puerto Rican who is the chairman and chief executive of financial services conglomerate Popular, Inc as well as being a senior member of the IOC, will lead the negotiations, which have been pushed back because of the worldwide economic crisis.

Representatives from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Fox Sports, Walt Disney Co. comapny ESPN with ABC, and Comcast's NBC Universal will all be making presentations to the IOC at the Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne about their proposed Olympic coverage.

CBS, the other major US network, has abandoned plans to bid in conjunction Time Warner Inc.'s Turner Broadcasting cable unit as originally planned due to a change in strategy.

NBC currently hold the rights, having paid $2.2 billion ($1.3 billion) for Vancouver 2010 and London 2012, bidding $700 million (£426 million) more than ESPN and Fox when they were awarded in 2003.

They have broadcast every Summer Olympics since Seoul in 1988 and every Winter Games since Salt Lake City in 2002 and will broadcast London 2012.

But their planning has been thrown into confusion by surprise announcement last month Dick Ebersol had resigned as chairman after 22 years.

Robert_Iger_with_Micky_MouseNBC's team is now being led by chief executive Steve Burke and Comcast chief executive Brian Robertson, ESPN by chief executive George Bodenheimer and Disney head Robert Iger (pictured) while Fox Sports will be represented by chairman David Hill, the man who helped launch BSkyB in Britain and was involved in the early negotiations for broadcsting England's Premier League.

Each bidder is expected to make two-hour presentations behind closed doors to senior IOC members, starting with Fox tomorrow afternoon.

They will be followed by ESPN on Tuesday (June 7) morning and NBC Tuesday afternoon.

A decision is expected late Tuesday.

The winning bidder is expected to pay more than $2 billion (£1.2 billion) for the Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and over $4 billion (£2.4 billion) if the deal is extended to also include the Games in 2018 and 2020, which have yet to be awarded by the IOC.

The Unites States Olympic Committee (USOC), with chairman Larry Probst, chief executive Scott Blackmun, general counsel and chief of legal and Government affairs Rana Dershowitz and chief communications officer Patrick Sandusky, have all travelled to Lausanne to be on hand for the negotiations.·

The USOC currently receives a 12.75 percent share of US television rights deals.

The IOC are confident that the deal will be financially massive.

"We've got a full house and I'm hoping for the best," Carrion told The Associated Press today.

Carrion claimed that the departure of Ebersol did not lessen NBC's determination to retain the rights, even though they lost $220 million (£134 million) on their broadcast from Vancouver last year.

"They reiterated that they are extremely interested, and judging from the team they've brought here, I take them at their word," Carrion told AP.

"It's just way too important for them.

"I expect them to play to win.

"We obviously expect a higher figure [than last year], and that's it."

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