Jul 9, 2014

Broadcasting the Olympics doesn’t turn a profit, so why do it?

TV networks pay big bucks to broadcast international sport in the middle of the night. Why?

Sally Whyte — Political reporter

Sally Whyte

Political reporter

Some of us might be red-eyed at work today with all this sport on the TV, but analysts say there’s very little profit in televising international sport in Australia. So why do the networks do it?

News broke today that Channel 7 has won the right to broadcast the 2016 Rio Olympics, the 2020 Tokyo Games and the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, according News Corp. It’s been reported the network paid less than $200 million for the lot.

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One thought on “Broadcasting the Olympics doesn’t turn a profit, so why do it?

  1. John Turner

    Nine only has limited rights to some until 2017-18: chiefly home internationals in all 3 formats involving Australia with some (it’s unclear how many) cricket World Cup games early next year: a one off windfall gain at best?
    Foxtel has for years picked up some other cricket TV rights but it has not announced any plans to cover Australia’s forthcoming tours to Zimbabwe and the UAE (to play Pakistan). I, and I expect many other cricket following Foxtel subscribers, were concerned at the network’s pulling the plug on its longstanding relay of its sister network Sky SportsUK’s coverage of UK cricket ( the gaps being filled with a grab bag of minor sports eg volleyball, rowing and talking head shows) This decision has since been reversed so the England v India Test series is being relayed, but I wonder how long this will last.
    Foxtel seems to have sent a sizeable contingent of people to Brazil for the soccer World Cup despite not having any rights to broadcast matches there. Is it having to cut its cloth to cover the inflated prices it’s paid to cover the various football codes and competitions, some/all of which are available on free to air TV?

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