NBC Universal has outbid rivals to win the US rights to broadcast the four Olympics after London 2012. The Comcast company's $4.38 billion bid included $2 billion to broadcast the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 summer Games in Rio de Janiero. Rival bidder Fox offered only $3.4 billion, while ESPN offered $1.4 billion for 2012 and 2014, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal.
The win allows the broadcaster to retain one of its signature franchises, but it remains to be seen whether it will translate into profits—especially since the locations of the 2018 and 2020 Games are still unknown. NBCU paid around $2 billion for the rights to the 2010 and 2012 Olympics, for which it has projected losses approaching $500 million. Of note, the deal with the International Olympic Committee also allows Comcast to create an Olympics channel. (Read more Olympics stories.)