LUSANNE, Switzerland – Longtime U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) partner NBCUniversal has retained the U.S. broadcast rights for the Olympic Games through 2020. The decision was announced Tuesday by the International Olympic Committee following presentations by NBCUniversal, ESPN and Fox.
NBC has broadcast every Summer Olympics since 1988 and every Winter Games since 2002. Their recent coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, where USSA athletes captured a record 21 medals including six gold, surpassed the highly watched American Idol. NBC racked in ratings during American Idol during the course of the February Games overruling Idol twice and getting the gold medal over Idol’s silver medal per se, for the first time in over six years.
“For two decades NBC has raised the global level of awareness and support for the Olympic movement. Today’s decision continues and strengthens that vision,” said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt. “This secures NBC’s passionate legacy of telling the stories of our athletes through the excitement of skiing and snowboarding.”
Comcast purchased NBCUniversal earlier this year. The cable giant’s ownership of NBCUniversal has created one of the most wide-reaching media platforms in history. Top USSA events including the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup, U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix and other elite level competitions are broadcast annually on NBC, Versus and Universal Sports.
“The USSA congratulates NBC and Comcast in retaining Olympic broadcast rights through 2020. We’re confident that NBC’s long history, tradition and legacy of Olympic broadcasting will only grow with the available media assets and capabilities Comcast brings to the partnership,” said USSA Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Andrew Judelson. “The ability to continue our longstanding relationship will have a positive impact on our own programs with NBC. We look forward to the future.”
The winning bid clocked in at $4.38 billion and secured exclusive rights to the upcoming Olympics of: the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the 2018 Winter Games and 2020 Olympics which do not have their locations secured yet. The 2012 Summer Olympics in London had already right secured by NBCUniversal and was not included in the deal.