Thursday, August 27, 2009

Follow the Money: TV!

Eventually we here at Mount Olympics plan to have an entire series of posts about Following the Money in the Olympics. It's a particularly germane topic given the crazy global meltdown that basically began ten minutes after the extinguishing of the Olympic Torch at the Closing Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (Possible "Follow the Money" topic: GLOBAL MARKET COLLAPSE A DIRECT RESULT OF OLYMPICS?? What the IOC Doesn't Want You to KNOW.*)

I've been curious for a long time about where funding comes from and where it goes-- what sort of sponsorship deals exist, what being the "Official Soft Drink of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics" means. (Note: Coca-Cola. Of course.) Do Olympians drink it? (Wild guess here: No.) Does anyone actually care? What, for all that is holy, could this sentence possibly mean: "Coca-Cola's Olympic Games Sustainability Plan is designed to outline the holistic methods Coca-Cola is using to minimize its environmental impact while demonstrating to Canadians how their own small changes create an opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame"?

But first, let's talk about the proposed US Olympic Committee's proposed cable station. Basically, the USOC and Comcast decided that it would be great if they started up an "All Olympics, all the time" channel. For those of you thinking, "Wait, I thought we already had that," congratulations for putting more thought into it than anyone over at Comcast!

NBC is one of the IOC's biggest partners. It has billions of dollars invested in being the only American station that consistently covers the Olympics. It also has and a great relationship with the IOC. And the USOC is not the IOC's best friend.

I'm not an expert on this little venture, but this sentence from the LATimes blog intrigues me: "It seems clear that Comcast miscalculated the level of bad blood between the IOC and USOC and didn't realize what the blow-back would be from NBC and its sports chief Dick Ebersol, who has a lot of juice with the IOC."

What kind of juice? I'm guessing mango. But that's not a Coca-cola product.

End result: the network is "on hold." Right. That's Dick Ebersol's code for "never again to see the light of day."

*Please note: This is a ridiculous joke about conspiracy theories. The IOC of course wants you to know. For once something cost less than predicted. In fact, they have probably post it on their website, and now nobody will ever be able to figure out anything ever.

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