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ESPN a big selling point in bid for Olympic TV rights

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JEREMY HOBSON: Today American TV networks are bidding for the broadcast rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games. NBC has carried the torch since 2000.

But as Jennifer Collins reports, the Peacock’s run may be over.

JENNIFER COLLINS: NBC reportedly lost more than $200 million on the Vancouver Olympics. Part of it could have to do with awkward programming.

CNBC: The sport of curling — the sport which involves pushing that granite stone toward a bulls eye — has been on CNBC for more than 30 hours so far.

And that was one of the business channel’s own reporters. Now, Disney and NewsCorp are also vying for the games. Sports economist Rodney Paul says Disney, which owns ABC and ESPN, may have an edge.

RODNEY PAUL: Given how well branded the different networks are within ESPN’s family, there’s a much greater chance that ESPN gets it than the previous times bidding took place.

Porter Bibb of MediaTech Capital Partners says Disney has another advantage.

PORTER BIBB: Only a Disney can make a profit by all of the ancillary revenue streams the Olympics can create for them.

Think: Theme park rides, retail sales. Bibb says the Olympic Committee needs to pick well. If the games lose money again, the next round’s bids may not be as high.

I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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