By Barry Janoff
December 7, 2016: Comcast Corp., whose NBCUniversal unit is the exclusive broadcast partner for the Olympics through 2032, has extended its reach by becoming an official partner with the U.S. Olympic Committee and Team USA.
Comcast’s NBCUniversal, a long-time USOC partner, holds the U.S. media rights to the Olympic Games through 2032.
The new alliance enables Comcast to use Team USA marks in advertising and marketing for the Comcast, Xfinity and Comcast Business brands.
It also names Comcast the official Internet, video distribution, wireless, home security, and business services provider for the 2018 and 2020 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The move fills several voids that would have been created with the departure of USOC partner AT&T, which chose not to renew its pact with Team USA, which expires this month. AT&T is in the process of repositioning its alliances and financial spend due to its proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, which currently is undergoing Federal inspection.
The 2018 Winter Games will be held in South Korea, the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
"Bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games to America is an honor and a privilege, and I’m especially proud that our brand will now be aligned with the Olympic rings in the U.S., the U.S. teams themselves, and the qualities they represent," Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO for Comcast Corp., said in a statement.
"Our new partnership with the USOC further extends our support of Team USA, and we look forward to creating new and wonderful Olympic experiences for years to come,"said Roberts.
NBC has had exclusive U.S. coverage of every Summer Olympic Games since Seoul in 1988 and every Winter Olympics Games since Salt Lake City in 2002. In 2011, NBCUniversal extended its TV rights deal for the Olympics through 2020 for $4.38 billion, and in 2014 again extended those rights through 2032 for $7.65 billion, according to industry analysts.
Comcast Corp. acquired 51% of NBCUniversal from General Electric and became majority owner of the company on Jan. 29, 2011.
During the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, NBCU had what it called an "unprecedented" record 6,755 hours of programming, across 11 linear networks as well as on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app,
NBCU said ti also set an Olympic record with $1.2 billion generated in national ad sales (up 20% from London, according to NBC).
NBCU said its prime time presentation averaged a "total audience delivery" of 27.5 million daily viewers,
Comcast also built a Rio 2016 destination on its Xfinity X1 platform that combined all live TV and online streaming coverage — along with athlete profiles, stats and on demand content — into one integrated NBC Olympics dashboard that was searchable through the X1 voice remote, according to the company.
"I’m especially proud that our brand will now be aligned with the Olympic rings in the U.S., the U.S. teams themselves, and the qualities they represent."
"As a result, live plus same-day Olympic prime time ratings among adults 18-49 were 27% higher in X1 households than the rest of the country," said Comcast.
According to Scott Blackmun, USOC CEO, "We are thrilled to welcome Comcast into the USOC family of partners and know this relationship will have a significant impact on the Olympic and Paralympic movements in the United States.
"Comcast’s support of the USOC, coupled with an unparalleled ability to connect fans of Team USA with engaging content, represents a great opportunity, and we can’t wait to get started."
USOC partners include International Olympic Committee worldwide sponsors Atos, Coca-Cola, Bridgestone, Dow, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung, Procter & Gamble and Visa.
Team USA domestic sponsors include 24 Hour Fitness, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), BMW, BP, Chobani, DIck’s Sporting Goods, The Hartford, Hershey, Hilton, Kellogg’s, Liberty Mutual, Nike, Oakley, TD Ameritrade and United Airlines.
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