I think we have all of the numbers for each of the bids for the three networks that presented to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland this week. This is gathered from the reporters who have been covering the bidding quite closely, Richard Sandomir of the New York Times and from the Sports Business Journal, Tripp Mickle and John Ourand. Some interesting numbers and differences among the networks.
ESPN bid only for 2014 and 2016. Fox made two bids, one for 2014 and 2016 and the other for 2014, ’16, ’18 and ’20. NBC bid for all four games.
We know the winning bid was $4.38 billion for NBC for all four games. The IOC was looking somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 billion for the 2014 & 2016 games. They did not get close to that from ESPN or from Fox Sports. NBC’s bid for those games hit the number that the IOC was looking for.
Then for the four game package, Fox bid $3.4 billion, about $800 million lower than what NBC bid. While the IOC loves its relationship with NBC, it also loves money and that’s what it came down to.
I’m a bit surprised to see ESPN bid so low for the games after saying it was making a concerted effort to wrestle the Games from NBC. However, it bid what it thought it was fiscally responsible for the network.
Fox’s bid for 2014 & 2016 was just $100 million higher than ESPN’s showing that it too wanted to be fiscally responsible for this set of Olympics. It all makes for some interesting discussion, but as we saw previously, NBC threw in the cash and the IOC went for it. We’ll see if we start hearing about losses for NBC/Comcast, but officials have assured reporters that they expect to make money on the Olympics through the company’s various platforms.
So once again, the bids look as follows:
2014 & 2016:
ESPN — $1.4 billion
Fox Sports — $1.5 billion
NBCUniversal — $2.01 billion
2014 through 2020:
ESPN — no bid
Fox Sports — $3.4 billion
NBCUniversal — $4.38 billion
Today’s news has made for a very interesting Tuesday in covering the sports media. I hope to have more coming up.