Rogers, CTV to Bid on Olympics Again

by Jordan Richardson on October 13, 2010

The relationship worked out well the first time, so Rogers Communications and CTV are set to go at it again as they attempt to secure the rights to the Olympics in 2014 and 2016.

CTV and Rogers took on the biggest single broadcasting project in Canada when they landed the rights to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The 2014 and 2016 events will be held in Russia and Brazil, respectively, and broadcasters have to bid for Olympic events in packages of two – meaning that the consortium can’t simply place a bid for the Winter Olympics and be done with it.

CTV and Rogers won’t be expecting to spring as much for the next batch of games and are hoping that this next pair of events will help them break even on its investment for 2010 and 2012. The recession thumped the dynamic duo thanks to poor ad revenue in the months leading up to the Olympics in Vancouver, so it would be nice if 2014 and 2016 could help recover some of the losses.

Most TV execs in Canada are expected to let the events in Russia and Brazil slide by without much of a fight. The Vancouver Olympics, conversely, were big ticket draws and the battle to land those events was tough.

This tag team is about to enter some interesting territory, too, and that could have compelling implications for Canada’s telecom scene.

If you’ve been scoring at home, you remember that Bell recently made moves to purchase CTV Inc. Drawing the lines together, that means that Rogers and BCE Inc. will, thanks to this lovely consortium set to bid on the Olympics, be allied under the cause of providing Olympic coverage.

Nobody in the Bell or CTV camps has commented on this potential conundrum as of yet, but the two rivals will be working together on Olympic coverage should the Bell/CTV deal go through with CRTC approval. BCE is awaiting its turn in front of the regulatory body, as the current Global/Shaw deal is on the CRTC’s plate at the moment.

The CBC, meanwhile, is expected to set up a bid for the Olympics as well. They were a little embarrassed over losing to the duo last time and won’t let this next opportunity slip through its publicly-funded fingers quite so easily.

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