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  • USOC, IOC Ready to Deal?


    03/26/09

    The IOC Executive Board is discussing the U.S. revenue sharing agreement in Denver this week. (ATR/Panasonic:Lumix)
    (ATR) Sources tell Around the Rings that the first steps towards a new revenue sharing agreement could be announced tomorrow by IOC President Jacques Rogge.

    The leadership of the U.S. Olympic Committee apparently has defused tension over the controversial agreement by taking part in constructive meetings Wednesday and Thursday with IOC negotiators.

    "The first steps have been taken," an IOC member familiar with the negotiations told Around the Rings.

    The IOC president is expected to make an announcement Friday at his closing press conference, although it is unknown how specific he will be.

    The two sides were only $35 million apart before the meetings, sources tell ATR.

    Another IOC member said the deal probably won't be concluded until after the IOC Session in October so it won't hang over the Chicago 2016 bid effort.

    USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said no other meetings are planned at this point, but would not comment on a possible delay until after the vote for the 2016 host city.

    "We've never approached this as if there was a specific deadline that had to be met," Seibel said.

    The conclusion of the deal could also be postponed because of the current economic climate in which the USOC recently laid off more than 50 employees.

    Although no long-term changes could be made until 2021 because of existing contracts through 2020, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations has proposed that the IOC require the USOC to pay some fees, retroactive to 2005.

    These include as a $14 million contribution toward the general cost of the Games and $12 million to ASOIF and $12 million to the Association of National Olympic Committees.

    USOC chairman Larry Probst, Acting CEO Stephanie Streeter and Bob Ctvrtlik, vice president for international relations, led the U.S. team, while the IOC was represented by Gerhard Heiberg, ANOC President Mario Vazquez Rana and ASOIF President Denis Oswald.

    The summer federations had adopted a motion Tuesday urging the IOC to terminate its existing contract and start immediate negotiations for a new one. The IFs complained of a lack of respect from the USOC.

    International
    IOC President Jacques Rogge huddles with IOC Director General Urs Lacotte before gaveling to order the EB meeting in Denver, it's first in the Colorado capital city. (ATR/Panasonic:Lumix)
    boxing federation President and IOC member C.K. Wu told ATR that Rogge will find a way to settle the dispute.

    "Jacques Rogge said IOC will certainly work it out to reach a very good solution with USOC," Wu said. "He is ready to negotiate on very good and friendly terms; that is the best way."

    When the current deal was made in 1996, revenues from television and sponsorship were much lower than they are now. The USOC receives about 12.75 percent from U.S. television revenues and about 20 percent from the TOP program.

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    With reporting from Karen Rosen in Denver.

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