CBS Making A Push For The Olympics

Thursday, December 18, 2008

There's almost little to no way that NBC will lose the rights to the Olympics, but with Time Warner by their side, CBS will attempt to make that a reality when the Games' right are up on the block. NBC's contract will be over following the 2012 Summer Games, and a slew of networks will be vying for the 2014 Winter Olympics, and 2016 Summer Games (possibly held in Chicago). Via USA Today....

CBS Corp. and Time Warner Inc. executives have discussed joining forces to bid on rights to televise the Olympics in 2014 and 2016, turning that competition into an even greater clash of media titans.

TV empires headed by incumbent NBC, Fox and ABC-ESPN have all said they expect to bid for the the U.S. rights. Because of the economy, the International Olympic Committee has said it was prepared to postpone the negotiations until after the 2016 host city was named next October.

If CBS works with Time Warner, competition could be televised on CBS plus popular cable networks TBS and TNT. Time Warner also owns CNN, CNN Headline News, Turner Movie Classics and the Cartoon Network.

The CBS-Turner talks, confirmed by both sides this week to The Associated Press, were only preliminary. No decision has been made about going forward with a bid, said Shirley Powell, a Turner Networks spokeswoman.

Sean McManus, CBS Sports president, said that while the Olympics were undeniably attractive, there's a danger in thinking the success of Beijing — keyed by Michael Phelps' eight gold medals and the attractive setting — would necessarily carry over.
I personally believe that last sentence is the key to this whole thing. Phelps probably has one, maybe two games left in him, and to pay for the rights would almost be like rolling the dice. If the 2016 Summer Olympics are held in Chicago, and Michael Phelps is still competing, then the numbers would almost surely pass those of Beijing. If the Games are in Tokyo or Madrid, and Phelps isn't in the pool, whoever purchased the Olympiad package will be stuck with a Summer much like the Athens Games in 2004.

CBS, Time Warner execs discuss Olympics TV bid (USA Today)

Posted by Awful Announcing at 11:33 AM


If anyone takes the Olympics from NBC, I'd much rather it be CBS than ESPN/ABC or FOX.

Anonymous said...
Dec 18, 2008, 11:59:00 AM  

This could lead to Gus calling Dream Team games though!

GMoney said...
Dec 18, 2008, 12:11:00 PM  

GMoney, please stop calling the USA Olympic Basketball Team "Dream Team". There will only be one true Dream Team, and by using that term for each Olympics, it diminishes the outstanding talent on that 1992 team. I will support using "Redeam Team" from this past summer, but the marketing people will have to come up with another clever term for other teams.

But I would agree, that Gus would be great being the main basketball play-by-play guy. I'm guessing Nance would either be host or do track, Dick Enberg and possible Uncle Vern would be starting to phase out, if not already retired at that point.

walnuts said...
Dec 18, 2008, 12:45:00 PM  

If we're lucky, Jim Nantz will be long retired by 2016, so if by some miracle CBS does get rights, we won't be subjected to his inane droning.

Bruce said...
Dec 18, 2008, 12:53:00 PM  

I thought TNT and TBS broadcast events this summer as well. Is Time Warner getting into bed with several networks or am I missing something?

dwhit said...
Dec 18, 2008, 1:08:00 PM  


No. TBS and TNT didn't show any of the Olympics.

It was all on NBC-owned networks.

Anonymous said...
Dec 18, 2008, 1:13:00 PM  

Ah, I must be thinking of USA. Thanks.

dwhit said...
Dec 18, 2008, 1:14:00 PM  

If CBS gets them, Ian Eagle should have a prominent role. He and Gus Johnson are the best and Kevin Harlan's pretty good too.

Brad James said...
Dec 18, 2008, 1:36:00 PM  

It would be intresting to see the Olympics on another network besides NBC. But I can't see another netowrk ooutbiding NBC for the Olympics. NBC will do anything it can to keep the Olympics.

Anonymous said...
Dec 18, 2008, 3:18:00 PM  

nantz wont be finished until he calls 50 masters, i believe he only did about 20, and what would the olympics be without Bob?????

mike said...
Dec 18, 2008, 6:10:00 PM  

I hope CBS gets it and if they get the winter olympics also they should play the cbs winter olympics theme

matthrw said...
Dec 18, 2008, 6:58:00 PM  

It will probably be ESPN because ESPN is like the Yankees, money money. Either way no matter who gets the Olympics Mike Breen is the Best Basketball annoucer behind the great Marv Albert. ESPN when they get the NCAA tournament should use Breen as the number one.

Lyle said...
Dec 18, 2008, 8:27:00 PM  

Nantz said he's retiring after the 2009 Masters when he was on CenterStage on YES w/Michael Kay.

Anonymous said...
Dec 18, 2008, 9:07:00 PM  

I'll believe that when I see it, Anon 9:07. We may hate Nantz's droning, but he's nowhere near the end of his game. He's got at least another 10 years before he begins to enter curmudgeon territory.

CBS had the '94 and '98 Winter Olympics, and they were OK at it. Nothing blew me away. I just can't see anyone producing the Olympics better than NBC. That and Ebersol WILL prevail in a bidding war, future of the network be damned.

Anonymous said...
Dec 19, 2008, 7:32:00 PM  

Maybe CBS will let Tim McCarver reprise his role as Olympic primetime host from 1992...

Anonymous said...
Dec 19, 2008, 9:40:00 PM  

"If anyone takes the Olympics from NBC, I'd much rather it be CBS than ESPN/ABC or FOX."

Exactly how I feel. I don't want NewsCorp's hands all over the Games, but ESPN doing the Olympics terrifies me like crazy. If you could clone Jim McKay. I also wouldn't mind CBS taking the Winter Games back, and NBC doing the Summer Games, but Ebersol will not let that happen. I recently read an editorial by someone on an Olympic Website that indicated change might be coming to U.S. Olympic TV because the IOC recently rejected an offer from the European Broadcasters Union, wanting to go country by country, plus Australia's broadcaster changing from being Seven Network and SBS to being Nine Network and FOXTEL for 2010, and CTVglobemedia (which includes CTV and TSN) and Rogers Media (Rogers Sportsnet) taking over from The CBC in Canada, also starting in 2010, however, he really doesn't know who Dick Ebersol is.

Michael said...
Dec 20, 2008, 1:04:00 PM  

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