The International Olympic Committee and the US Olympic Committee brought an end to a long-running dispute over the share of Olympic Games commercial revenues by announcing a new deal at SportAccord Convention yesterday.
Terms of the 20-year deal, to be activated from 2020, have not been revealed, but the USOC has agreed to receive a smaller share of sponsorship and broadcast revenues from the Games. The USOC currently receives 20% of global sponsorship revenue from the Olympics and a 12.75% cut of US broadcast rights deals. The IOC felt the revenue-split deal, which dated back to the mid-1990s, was disproportionately weighted in favour of the USOC.
The Associated Press reported that the USOC would retain its current revenues, but its broadcast rights share would be reduced to 7% on any increases in broadcast deals and its marketing share would be cut in half to 10% on increases in sponsorship revenue. The deal has opened the door to a possible US bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics or the 2024 Summer Games, with the USOC having pulled back from entering a bid since Chicago finished last in the Candidate Cities vote for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
USOC chairman Larry Probst said: “From our standpoint we went into these negotiations with the objective of addressing key fundamental issues that were important to the IOC and at the same time insuring the financial well-being of the USOC on a long term basis. I think we were able to accomplish both sides of that equation.”
“We hope this has removed a road block from a successful bid from the United States,” said Probst. “We have a board meeting schedule for June and I am sure that will be a significant topic of conversation. We will discuss our strategy there and probably begin to make some decisions about a potential bid going forward.”
IOC president Jacques Rogge added: “This is a very happy moment for the International Olympic Committee but I believe also for the USOC as this agreement will definitely strengthen both sides. The IOC will be in a position to better function while the USOC would enhance its possibilities of having a leading role in sports in the world. This has been quite a long process, we started negotiating in May 2005, the beginning was a bit difficult and then it accelerated and we came to this very good conclusion.”