Not only that but there are all those official worldwide olympic sponsors. I am not talking about the companies who pay for commercials, but the ones like Samsung, Molson/Coors and GM who I imagine paid the IOC to be the official cell phone, beer and car of the Olympic Games. I would think that with the amount of money those companies paid they want as much exposure as possible, not just at the venues, but with their logos and products showing up during the broadcasts. Not sure how they would feel about the limited exposure they would get on a cable channel and might be able to pressure the IOC.
Plus like others have posted NBC paid 2 billion dollars for these games and London. Would a cable channel like ESPN even have the money to play in that ballpark. I mean I know there have been talks about ESPN possibly being able to raise their subscriber fees to make up extra money. But I am not sure I see how much more they could raise them, especially justifying it to people that they would raise them probably permanently for what would be a two week event. Especially since if US cable is anything like Canadian cable lots of people are usually in contracts for their cable service, which means the provider canít raise the rates whenever they feel like it.
Lastly the advantage that a network has is that even if the ad buy levels are down they can use the Olympics as a way to promote all of their shows, and get better ratings for those. I mean the summer Olympics are basically a way for a network to push all their new fall shows. I mean what does ESPN have that they can push besides SportsCenter?
Kel, definitely agree with you on most of those points. To me, the Olympics just seems like the wrong event for ESPN. As much as it is the ultimate sports event, it's also so much more involving that ESPN may or may not want to get into. Even though ESPN may have more money sometimes than they know what to do it, I can't see them as easily able to make a profit off the Olympics as NBC has had in the past. Basically for a Winter Olympics, they're promoting their Olympics coverage into sports events like basketball (which we know isn't the usual Olympics demographic) and then trying to convince them to NOT watch those sports in February because they're showing the Olympics instead. It just doesn't seem like the right marriage. Especially with ESPN going hard after the NCAA Tournament, if they are ready to sink major capital into that, will they have enough left for the Olympics? And like you said, NBC is using viewership from the Olympics to pump their new shows. That won't work so well for ESPN, especially if they barely cut ABC into the equation.
The Olympics belong on a broadcast network. Doesn't necessarily have to be NBC, but an all-sports cable channel that makes no effort to try to appeal to everyone is the wrong place for it. If NBC has to go, let them get replaced by CBS, not ESPN.