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.