IOC could delay U.S. television rights deal

Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:26am EST
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By Karolos Grohmann

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee has drafted an austere 2009 budget due to the international financial crisis and could delay a U.S. television rights deal for the 2014/16 Games until late next year.

The IOC has yet to agree on a broadcast deal for the U.S. market for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Olympics because of the credit crunch.

Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Chicago are the 2016 candidates with a decision due in October next year.

Richard Carrion, an IOC member and chief negotiator for broadcasting rights, said on Wednesday a deal for the U.S. market, the most important IOC television contract, could take place after the election of the host city.

He said potential bidders would also prefer it that way.

"I don't see us moving quickly forward because all prognostications we are seeing are that advertising will be down," told reporters.

"Right now the whole mood is negative for the economy. Yes, they (broadcasters) always prefer to wait."

Carrion said knowing the host city could be an advantage in negotiations, especially if Chicago won.   Continued...

<p>President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge announces his decision to stand for a second term in office during a news conference in Brussels October 30, 2008. REUTERS/Thierry Roge</p>