Comcast executives have made clear they're not interested in a repeat of the 2010 Vancouver Games, when NBC lost more than $200 million in a rough economy. NBC also stands to take a similar hit from the London Olympics.
"The ownership has indicated to us it is very interested in continuing its Olympic history of NBC," Lumme said. "We think the Comcast/NBC combination will be a very strong bidder."
Hill, wearing a pink open-neck shirt and dark blazer, looked relaxed and joked with reporters going in and out of the meeting. He compared this contest to the 2003 bids.
"It's all the same — anticipation, nerves, are you doing and saying the right thing," he said. "You sit down in a room, you say what you think is right, you work out the numbers and present it to the IOC and hope that you get it. That's it."
All three contenders have brought top-level delegations to Lausanne. NBC's team includes CEO Steve Burke and Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts, while ESPN has chief executive George Bodenheimer and Disney CEO Robert Iger.
"We are quite confident our plan will grow the Olympics," Bodenheimer said Monday. "We have more assets that we can put to use than we did eight years, so I feel good about where we are."
Both Fox and ESPN have said they would carry all Olympic events live, breaking from NBC's longtime practice of airing most of the games on tape-delay in prime time. ESPN broadcast all the matches live from last year's World Cup in South Africa.
"We've been very vocal about that," Bodenheimer said. "Certainly, we believe that live is the way to go."
ESPN also brings the powerful Disney brand to the table, which raises the prospect of a possible tie-in with the games. GE threw in a $200 million global sponsorship as part of NBC's winning bid for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics.
If the networks opt for a four-games package, they will do so without knowing where the last two will be held. The IOC will select the 2018 host city on July 6 in Durban. The candidates are Annecy, France; Munich; and Pyeongchang, South Korea. The host of the 2020 Olympics will be chosen in 2013, and Rome is the only official contender so far.