IOC sets timeline for broadcast talks


MIES, Switzerland -- The IOC's lead negotiator on U.S. broadcast rights expects the next round of talks to begin "in the second quarter of 2011."

Richard Carrion, head of the IOC finance commission, tells The Associated Press that "informal talks" are expected on broadcast deals for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and 2016 Rio Olympics.

Carrion says time is in the Olympic body's favor "both from the economic and technology point of view."

He points to the fast-growing commercial appeal of gadgets such as the iPad.

Carrion says potential IOC partners are "looking for the holy grail of a digital business model that they can monetize."

The U.S. rights negotiations have repeatedly been postponed due to the struggling economy. NBC, CBS/Turner, ESPN/ABC and Fox are among potential contenders.