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ESPN makes it pitch to IOC for Olympic rights

By Stephen Wilson

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, June 7 2011 2:05 a.m. MDT

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — ESPN, backed by parent company Disney, is making its pitch for U.S. Olympic television rights in the three-way contest with Fox and incumbent NBC.

ESPN president George Bodenheimer and Disney CEO Robert Iger headed a nine-person delegation that went into a meeting Tuesday with International Olympic Committee officials.

Bodenheimer said "I feel confident. We have our plans."

Fox presented its bid Monday and NBC will get its chance later Tuesday.

The networks will submit sealed bids, and the IOC could announce a winner Tuesday or order a new round of bids.

At stake are rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The networks can also bid on the 2018 and 2020 Games, whose sites have not yet been selected.

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