For Networks, Chicago is Best Olympic Choice

By Andrew Gauthier 

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The New York Times

Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics would probably bring in more money from a United States TV network–and more from corporate sponsors–than Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo or Madrid, industry executives say. The International Olympic Committee will pick a city Friday in Copenhagen, setting the stage for the negotiations that will provide the bulk of its television revenue. A Chicago win is expected to generate a three-way bidding war between NBC Universal, ESPN and Fox.

The prospect of a domestic Olympics is so tantalizing that Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corporation, said last month that his Fox network would enter the 2014-16 Olympic TV bidding only if Chicago won.

Yet, in recognizing that Chicago would raise the price tag, he added, “I don’t want to call anybody a liar, but no one’s ever made any money out of it”–contradicting NBC’s claims of past profits. More…