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NBC wins games, hopes for profits.

NBC, which lost a whopping $100 million on the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, won the exclusive U.S. television rights to the I996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta with a bid of '$456 million, '$55 million more than what it paid for the Barcelona games. This time, no cable partner is involved with NBC.

According to Dick Ebersol, president of NBC Sports, the network expects to show a profit on this Olympic investment. The NBC bid won over a $450 million offer from Capital Cities/ABC and $415 million from CBS.

NBC, which is now third-rated in the networks' prime time race, took in $520 million in ad sales in Barcelona. It is estimated that $650 million in revenues are needed to break even on the games this time. Ebersol maintains that this can be achieved without a cable partner and predicts a $10 million profit.

Back in 1964, NBC obtained the Olympic TV rights for the Tokyo Games for $1.5 million. It has televised the Summer Olympics uninterruptedly since 1988- In 1992, NBC carried the Games with Cablevision Systems Corp., resulting in a compounded loss of $150 million.

NBC will carry the 96 Olympics over 16 days, for a total of 168 hours. Unlike Barcelona. which was carried largely on a tape-delay basis, the Atlanta games will be mostly live for the US.

Atlanta's Olympic organizing committee will receive $273.6 million from the bid. Additionally. it will receive $150 million of the $250 million paid to the International Olympic Committee for the European rights. There had been talk of NBC sharing the Olympic price with Ted Turner's network, but NBC decided to go on its own when it became clear that Turner wasn't prepared to share the risks.
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Title Annotation:exclusive rights to 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia
Publication:Video Age International
Date:Sep 1, 1993
Words:290
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