One of the highest-rated TV programming series in the U.S. -- the Olympics -- will continue to be aired on NBCUniversal TV networks and media platforms through 2032.
The 12-year-deal adds to its existing NBC-Olympics deals, secured from the International Olympic Committee, and is valued at an eye-popping $7.65 billion for six more Olympics events from 2021 through 2032 -- averaging around $1.28 billion for each event, a bit more per event than previous Olympic rights fees.
“The level of investment tells you that the games are very important piece of real estate,” says Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports, in a press conference on Wednesday.
In addition, NBC and the IOC say there is a $100 million “signing bonus” to be used for marketing/promotion of the Olympics from 2015-2020.
Although NBC had lost money on the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010 -- with NBC spending around $820 million for the rights and taking a $223 million loss -- it has since broke even with the London Summer Games in 2012, where it paid $1.18 billion.
Most recently, the Sochi Winter Olympics in February of this year moved solidly into the profitable picture. NBC paid $775 million for the Sochi games, reeling in just over $1 billion in advertising for the 18-day event.
NBC averaged 21.4 million viewers for its Sochi prime-time coverage, a 6% increase versus the 20.2 million average for the last European Winter Games in Torino in 2006. But down 12% from Vancouver in 2010.
In 2011, NBC had acquired the right to broadcast four Olympic Games until 2020 for $4.4 billion, averaging around $1.1 billion -- which includes the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016; Winter Olympics in PyeongChang in 2018; and Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.