Future Olympics Return To Canadian Public Broadcaster
After two cycles elsewhere, the Olympics are returning to public broadcaster CBC in Canada. The CBC, which receives government funds and sells advertising, has signed a deal with the International Olympic Committee to carry the 2014 and 2016 Games.
Terms of the deal, which covers the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and summer event in Rio, were not disclosed. It comes at a time when the
CBC is experiencing some budget cuts.
There is a long tradition in Canada of airing all Olympic events live. Regardless of the hour, which CBC signaled would continue on multiple platforms. The CBC aired 19 different Olympics through Beijing in 2008.
The current London Games are being distributed via a partnership between competitors Bell Media and Rogers Communications. Outlets include broadcast network CTV, sports networks TSN and Rogers Sportsnet and other pay and free outlets. The two media companies also joined together in a consortium to air the home-country Vancouver Games in 2010.
CBC’s Radio-Canada also won radio rights to the next two Games. Its TV service broadcasts in English and French and other languages.
London ratings have been soaring in the U.S. and Canada, where by one metric total-day viewing is up 74% versus Beijing four years ago, with an average of 2.1 million viewers, according to the broadcast consortium. CTV’s prime-time coverage has seen ratings up 45% over Beijing, where some events were shown live.
The broadcast consortium -- Bell owns 80% and Rogers has a 20% stake -- said 28 million Canadians, nearly 84% of the population, have seen at least some Olympic coverage.
The demo breakdown of the audience, ages 18-plus, has been 52% female.
Bell and Rogers reportedly lost money on the popular Vancouver Games -- and efforts either together, alone or in partnership with the CBC did not result in any success in securing 2014 and 2016 rights.