The Big Story in Canada? That U.S. Network

By Chris Ariens 

The Saturday cover story of Canada’s Globe and Mail was about the business angle of NBC’s upcoming Olympian effort: “a $1-billion cross-platform laboratory designed to capture the exact destination of viewers and prove to advertisers that network television still has the power to reverse trends and reclaim lost viewers.” The piece delves into what happens if news events overtake the Olympic competiton:

Nearly all of NBC’s top news shows will set up shop in China, producing three and a half hours of programming each day for The Today Show and NBC Nightly News. Anchors Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw will broadcast from China, along with the network’s health expert, Dr. Nancy Schneiderman [ed. note: correct spelling is Snyderman], who will give daily updates on Beijing’s “pollution story,” said Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports. Personalities of the newly acquired Weather Channel will also be on the ground to report on the weather.

“If this becomes a news story, or a series of news stories other than the Olympic events, we are certainly ready to cover them,” Mr. Ebersol said.

Interestingly, the story only gives one line to the Canadian rights holder, CBC:

Numerous international networks, including CBC and TSN in Canada, have greatly expanded their coverage for Beijing, a function of online advances that have taken place in recent years.

Of course there’s also an $849 million difference between what CBC paid for the rights ($45 million) and what NBC paid ($894 million).