The International Olympic Committee's decision to award the 2016 Summer Games to Rio de Janeiro instead of Chicago is prompting tough negotiating tactics by U.S. TV networks. They want to pare
down the rights fees for the 2016 Games and the 2014 Winter Games in Russia.
NBC's Dick Ebersol told CNBC that the Rio Games were worth 10% to 15% less to U.S. TV networks, advertisers and sponsors than a Chicago Olympics would have been. NBC paid $2.1 billion for rights to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Games in London. With Rio, the IOC is looking at less television. "But they've never voted their pocketbook," he said.
ESPN, Fox and possibly CBS are expected to bid against NBC for the 2014 and the 2016 Games. The wild card is ESPN, which might try to blow out rival bidders the way it blew out Fox last year for the rights to college football's Bowl Championship Series from 2011 to 2014.