The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. will pay $22 million for the rights to air the 2002 Winter Games, a deal that boosts the total television revenues collected by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee to nearly $450 million.
SLOC Chief Executive Officer Frank Joklik said the commitment was appreciated. Television revenues are, after all, the single largest source of revenue for the 2002 Winter Games."The television agreement brokered by the International Olympic Committee provides us with known and secure financing as we continue our preparations for 2002," Joklik said.
The organizing committee, currently overhauling its $1 billion-plus budget, gets 60 percent of the amount that the IOC makes from selling Olympic broadcast rights to television networks around the world.
A total of $738 million has been raised from the sale of the television rights to the 2002 Winter Games to networks in the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia, South America, New Zealand and now, Canada.
Canada's national public broadcaster is the last major network to sign on as an official broadcaster of the 2002 Winter Games. NBC was the first, paying a record $545 million for the U.S. broadcast rights.
Like NBC, the Canadian network signed to broadcast the Olympics through the 2008 Summer Games in a yet-to-be-chosen city. The eight-year package cost the CBC a total of $160 million.
The $22 million paid by the CBC for the 2002 Winter Games is also a record amount - 37 percent more than the $16 million the network paid for the Canadian broadcast rights to the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.
"It's huge," IOC Vice President Dick Pound said, the most ever paid by a Canadian network for any Olympics, even the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. "To get $22 million for the Winter Games, I'm very pleased."
Pound, a Montreal attorney who negotiates Olympic television contracts on behalf of the IOC, said there are only a few smaller networks yet to be signed. "Maybe another $4-5 million," he said.
And there's also the potential of sharing in additional revenues if the sale of television commercials by networks like NBC go better than expected. Atlanta's Olympic organizers picked up extra money that way.
But Pound said Salt Lake City's Olympic organizers shouldn't count on doing the same. "I wouldn't spend any of that yet," he said.