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NBC just locked down Olympics coverage for the next 18 years

NBC just locked down Olympics coverage for the next 18 years

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NBC will be the only place to watch the Olympics for a very, very long time. The network has just locked down exclusive US rights to Olympic Games coverage through 2032. The new deal is extremely broad and covers just about any broadcast scenario you can think of, including free-to-air television, cable/satellite TV, internet, and mobile viewing. Today's announcement extends an existing deal with the International Olympics Committee that previously spanned through 2020. The new aspect of the pact, which covers 2021 to 2032, is valued at $7.65 billion.

The IOC says the multi-billion agreement is a huge boost to its future. Over 90 percent of revenue generated by the deal will support the International Sports Federations, Olympic committees and teams across the globe, and the committee that organizes each Olympic Games. "NBC’s expertise in sports broadcasting, as well as their passion for the Olympic values, will mean we shall be able continue to offer first-class broadcast coverage of the Olympic Games to the widest possible American audience for many years to come," said IOC President Thomas Bach. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts expressed similar jubilation, saying "All of us at Comcast NBCUniversal are extremely proud that we have been entrusted to be the U.S. home for nine more Olympics, and we look forward to using all of our resources to continue our tradition of ground-breaking Olympic coverage."

Despite its best efforts to expand Olympics coverage to new platforms — led by smartphones and tablets — NBC has frequently been slammed for problems and questionable programming choices along the way. Most recently, the network streamed every event from Sochi live online to satisfy diehard viewers, while sticking with tape-delayed, traditional primetime coverage for its primary audience. The new deal gives NBC nearly two more decades to experiment with how it presents the world's greatest athletic contest.