IOC expects Asian media to pay more for Olympics


SEOUL, South Korea -- Buoyed by lucrative deals in Europe and the United States, the International Olympic Committee expects Asian media companies to pay significantly more money to broadcast upcoming games.

Richard Carrion, a negotiator for the IOC, said the Internet and other new media give broadcasters new ways to make money from the Olympics. That and the Olympics' global popularity are giving the IOC added leverage in negotiations for the rights to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2012 London Summer Games.

Discussions are under way with a handful of South Korean media
companies, Carrion said Thursday, and will open with Japanese
broadcasters in coming months.

The IOC's Asian negotiations come after the conclusion of
negotiations with U.S. and European broadcasters, who Carrion says
paid rates more than 30 percent higher for the 2010 and 2012 games
than they did in previous contracts. He predicts Korean and
Japanese broadcasters should follow suit.

"The kind of increases that we've seen leads us to believe that
this should be no exception," Carrion at a news conference in

Sales of TV rights account for more than half the IOC's overall
revenues. The money funds everything from the staging of the games
and the IOC's operations, to the subsidizing of Olympic committees
in many nations.

The amounts the IOC pulls in keep climbing. Even without the
Asian markets, TV rights sales so far for the 2010 and 2012 Games
have exceeded $2.9 billion, eclipsing the $2.5 billion for the
Turin Games and Beijing Games.

Canadian broadcaster CTV agreed to a more than 100 percent increase, to $160 million, mainly because Vancouver is the 2010 host, Carrion said. European broadcasters, except for Italy, agreed to pay 30 percent more, and NBC's $2 billion share, by far the largest, is a more than 35 percent increase, Carrion said.

As part of its negotiating strategy, the IOC is upping the ante by bundling traditional broadcast rights with those for cable television and the Internet, mobile phones and other new media.

"It's a much wider privilege in a media landscape that has changed," Carrion said.