Kerry Stokes is going to miss the Olympics in 2012 after spending so much time and effort getting close to the IOC and pushing Seven into a key production role. In fact, the word from Seven is that Kerry is very disappointed at losing the rights to Nine.
His private company is working closely with the Beijing organisers on the International Media Centre, while Seven will once again handle the swimming and other water sports coverage. But he’s got no one to blame except himself.
Kerry should have kept a closer eye on son Ryan, a senior executive at Seven, who was responsible for heading up Seven’s bid for the 2010 Winter Games and the 2012 London Summer Games. Instead of going to Switzerland with a team to put their case, Ryan Stokes decided to handle it all via email from Sydney. Why he chose to remain in Sydney still mystifies people at Seven, particularly because he’s a member of the IOC Media Committee. Did Seven think that it had already lost out to Nine?
Nine’s quartet in Lausanne, including Gary Fenton, Ian Law and David Gyngell, wined and dined the IOC. Fenton is a former Seven person who did the multi-year Olympic deal for the network (which included the Sydney Olympics). He was responsible for Nine snagging the Games and he knows and understands how the Olympic movement works.
So what happens now? If it was anyone but a Stokes family member who had failed so spectacularly, they would have been out the door, but Ryan Stokes continues to head up Pacific Magazines and sit on the Seven board.