Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Secures Olympics | AOL Earnings Fall Flat | Horowitz to Today

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NBC Secures Olympics Through 2032 (TVSpy)
NBCUniversal has acquired the rights to the Olympic Games through 2032. The new deal, valued at $7.65 billion, is the longest U.S. Olympic sports rights agreement in history. TVNewser NBC adds to the three Olympics it secured in an earlier deal: 2016 in Rio, 2018 in Pyeongchang and 2020 in Tokyo, with six more Summer and Winter Olympics through 2032, the host cities of which have not yet been selected. Adweek The deal comes as a major surprise on the week before the broadcast upfront presentations, as rival media outlets appeared to have been altogether unaware that negotiations were in the works. In fact, several sources confirmed that no other networks were so much as invited to bid for the package. This was by design, said IOC president Thomas Bach. Reuters The IOC did not approach ESPN, a network spokesman said, and neither were Fox nor CBS. The agreement includes media rights across broadcast television, cable TV, Internet and mobile platforms. NBC and rival networks have been stocking up on live sports content, which are popular with advertisers because large audiences watch in real-time and do not skip the TV commercials. Mashable NBC has become a player in the live sports industry in recent years, signing deals for the U.S. rights to the English Premier League, the National Hockey League and Sunday night NFL games. The Olympics are an expensive property, but NBC claims that it has been able to turn a profit on them. The price tag for the most recent deal is $1.4 billion more than the previous one.

AOL Beats on Revenue, Misses on Earnings (Re/code)
AOL delivered the Q1 revenue Wall Street was looking for, but not the earnings: Tim Armstrong’s company generated $583 million in sales last quarter and 34 cents a share in earnings, after factoring out one-time charges. Analysts were expecting $578 million and 45 cents. THR The online company said its earnings amounted to $9.3 million, compared to $25.9 million in the year-ago period, down 64 percent. The company said charges worth $22 million tied to software development costs dragged down the earnings. Revenue rose 8 percent, while advertising revenue climbed 16 percent. WSJ The results reflect AOL’s strategic shift toward advertising technology businesses, which help advertisers buy ads across the Internet, such as, an automated video ad-sales service acquired by AOL last September. The challenge in that strategy is that ad technology is a highly competitive market, one in which major online players including Google have already invested heavily. Deadline New York The stock was down 24 percent in midday trading to its lowest point since October after the company reported weaker than expected Q1 sales for display and search ads and took several charges that startled investors. In addition to the major surprises, many investors were chilled by a 3 percent year-over-year drop in global display ads, which had improved in Q4, and 1 percent decline in global search.

Jamie Horowitz Named SVP/General Manager of Today Show (TVNewser)
ESPN executive Jamie Horowitz is joining NBC News as SVP and GM of the Today show. But his ESPN contract won’t allow him to take the job until later this year. Deadline Hollywood Horowitz is currently VP of original programming and production at ESPN. Reporting to NBC News president Deborah Turness, he will lead the morning infotainment program’s brand, with NBC saying he will be tasked with driving “greater integration and growth among all parts of the brand, on all platforms — including the four hours of live television every weekday, weekend Today,, and the Plaza experience.” Variety The show has made several staff changes in the last year since Turness took office. Rob George was hired as director and longtime producer Melissa Lonner, who booked concerts, left the show. At ESPN, Horowitz oversaw a number of shows, including Olbermann, which brought Keith Olbermann back to ESPN, the sports debate show First Take, SportsNation and the Sports Emmy-nominated World Series of Poker. THR This is not Horowitz’s first stint at NBC. Before joining ESPN in 2006, he worked at NBC Sports where he got his start in the industry as an Olympic researcher for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.