The Olympics will not be in Chicago, despite Obama’s last minute efforts to get the games in his adopted home town.
It’s a big win for Brazil, and big loss for the International Olympic Committee who will lose out on some television money.
According to the New York Times, if Chicago had won the games, the television rights would have been worth 10% more. Why? Because ESPN, FOX and NBCU would get into a bidding war for the rights to the games.
Rupert Murdoch has said he’s uninterested in the games if they’re on foreign soil. Of course he could be bluffing. ESPN’s head of programming John Skipper called Rio his number two choice.
Rio is only a two-hour difference from Chicago, so the broadcasters shouldn’t be hurt too badly if Rio wins.
In fact, this could actually help them.
At the Goldman Communicopia Conference a few weeks ago, Murdoch said he doesn’t want to call anyone a liar, but he doesn’t think anyone has ever made a profit on the games. The cost of securing the rights to the games has been skyrocketing. NBC paid $1.18 billion for the 2012 games in London, says the Times.
With Brazil commanding a lower asking price for the television rights, whoever wins them could end up making a bigger profit. And TV viewers, presumably, mostly couldn’t care less where they’re taking place.