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NBC’s $1 Billion Olympics Sellout [TV Advertising]

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Disclosure: I'm friends with one of the business development leads for NBC Sports.

Can anyone help explain the history of broadcast rights?

I read through a Wikipedia entry and source articles, but it's still a fascinating concept.

More fascinating, than dare I say, copyright and trademark.

How can the broadcast rights to an event be sold? What is the origin of this practice? What are the laws surrounding broadcast? Do they only pertain to ticketed events, or are free-to-watch public events also included.

I'd love to hear more about this from knowledgeable parties.

Reference here:

While the 2008 Beijing Games were a huge success for NBC with the network averaging 27.7 million viewers over 17 nights and earning a $100 million profit, the network actually lost $223 million on the 2010 Vancouver Games. Given the $1.18 billion price tag for the broadcasting rights to the London Games, NBC expects to lose a little money, yet asserts that its financial outlook is much stronger than it was two years ago. The network is so confident about the profit potential of the Olympics that they paid $4.38 billion to secure the broadcasting rights for the upcoming Games through 2020.


While NBC executives admit that it will be tough to top the stellar ratings of the Beijing Games, they expect that the London Games will attract 200 million viewers over the 17-day event and ultimately be among the top five TV events of all time.

I'm hating the NBC Olympics iPhone and iPad apps right now.

Their streaming is so bad, half the time I cannot see the video.

Huge fail.

No one should own the Olympics broadcasting rights if they cannot make the content actually available.

I just keep wondering how exceptional ESPN would be if they could broadcast the Olympics.

It also disappoints me that an event designed to unite the world would be restricted to those with specific requirements (see: xfinity/cable) just because the broadcast company is owned by the cable company.

Well said, sir, and I concur.

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