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  • IOC Puts Canadian Broadcast Deal on Backburner


    A live broadcast site for CTV during the Vancouver Games. (ATR)
    (ATR) Lead rights negotiator Richard Carrion tells Around the Rings the IOC is in no rush to sign a Canadian broadcast deal for Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 after reaching an impasse with the only known bidder.

    “We got an offer that was unacceptable, and we will not be focusing on Canada in the near term,” the IOC member from Puerto Rico tells ATR.

    “Right now, our main focus is on two negotiations that are active in Asia and that should occupy the first half of the year.”

    Bell, the largest private broadcaster in Canada through its CTV network and TSN sports channel, joined forces with the taxpayer-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation last September.

    Bell was the dominant member of the consortium with Rogers Media that bid a record $153 million for rights to Vancouver 2010 and London 2012. Rogers opted not to continue past London.

    "We won't be commenting at all during this process," said Scott Henderson, vice president of communications for Bell Media.

    Carrion’s comments follow a Jan. 17 story in The Toronto Star quoting unnamed industry sources who claimed the Bell/CBC bid offered the IOC only $70 million in part because of the National Hockey League's reluctance to release players to compete at Sochi 2014. It’s expected that Olympic participation will be part of talks on a new collective bargaining agreement with players after the current deal expires in September.

    The Star also reported that Bell and Rogers sold $190 million of advertising and spent $100 million on production costs for Vancouver but ended up with a loss between $20 million and $80 million.

    Henderson would neither confirm nor deny those figures.

    Reported in Vancouver by Bob Mackin.

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