If you've enjoyed NBC's coverage of the Olympic Games — or, frankly, even if you haven't — you're going to be seeing more of it. A lot more. NBC has locked up coverage of all Olympic Games through 2032, across all platforms, including broadcast, cable, Internet, and mobile. Total cost: $7.65 billion. With a B.
NBC is spending a great deal of money on a still-undetermined product; there are three Summer Games and three Winter Games between 2022 and 2032, and none of the host cities have been decided yet. The International Olympic Committee, which participated in NBC's announcement, is expected to annouce the 2022 Winter Games host next year. Salt Lake City appears to be in the running for the 2026 Winter Games, as do Denver/Aspen and Reno/Tahoe.
While $7 billion is an incomprehensibly large number, the idea of 18 years is not. Eighteen years ago, the Olympics were in Atlanta. At that point, most phones were still attached to walls by wires, and while there was an Internet, you couldn't use it at the same time as you used your phone. Consider how far we've come since then, technologically speaking, and then consider how much farther ahead we could be 18 years from now.
Why the Olympics, though? Simple: it cuts across demographic, national and gender lines like no other television broadcast. And because of sports' unique must-see-live (or almost-live) quality, the Olympics will demand your immediate attention. Nobody's DVR'ing the Summer Olympics to binge-watch in November.
So settle in with NBC. They'll be here awhile. On the plus side, now your grandchildren will get to see if Bob Costas is able to kick that Sochi eye infection.