$4 Billion for Five Rings

NBC has become known for its television coverage of the Olympics; the network has had the U.S rights every Summer Olympics since 1988 and every Winter Olympics since 2002. When the next four events came up for bid — 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 — a lot had changed at the network, however. It had been bought by Comcast, which had made noises about not being willing to overspend to keep the Olympics. And then the resignation of NBC sports group chairman Dick Ebersol last month meant the loss of a key advocate for covering the games.

So it was a bit of a surprise when Comcast came out on top in the bidding this week at $4.38 billion for the four events. The deal includes rights to television, mobile devices, and the Internet. The company has also made the commitment to broadcast every event live on one platform or another. This is great news for fans of some of the less popular sports that don’t get much prime time coverage. You can follow Comcast’s plans for the Summer Games in England next year at a dedicated website.

It looks as though we’re going to get to enjoy Bob Costas, up close and personal, for a bit longer.