For the first time in history the network hosting the Olympic Games will not pocket any money. That's the word from Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Universal Sports and the executive producer of the network’s Olympics broadcasts.
NBC had to pay increases in license fees to be able to broadcast the games in mid-February. Those increases came at a time when advertising sales were at an all-time low.
The New York Times reports:
“Sales, which were slow in the spring and early summer due to the economy, have taken off, and we are well on our way” to match the advertising revenue the network gathered for the Olympic Games in Torino and Salt Lake City, Mr. Ebersol said.NBC has paid over $2 billion for license fees to air both the 2010 and 2012 Olympics. The cost of the Winter Games was $820 million. In 2006 the license fee was $613 million for broadcast rights to the Games. That fee is up one-third than the last games.
The network is expecting to lose a couple hundred million dollars for the right to air the Winter Games.
NBC has aired the Olympic Games since 1998. This winter viewers will have 835 hours of Olympics programming to look forward to.