Why the IOC really moved the games
Hint: Follow the money
Congratulations to the International Olympic Committee for finally figuring out that hosting 11,000 athletes from 200 or so countries in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t the greatest idea.
The 2020 Olympics will be held in 2021 in Tokyo, literally. They will still be the 2020 Olympics. Only the IOC can turn back the hands of time
Acknowledging that the IOC is in a dead heat in the race for most-tone-deaf sports organization with FIFA, the fine folks who bring you soccer’s World Cup in a desert in 2022, let’s try to give Thomas Bach and friends some credit for belatedly doing the right thing.
That and some athletes stood up for what was right. Yes, Canada and Australia announced that they would not be sending teams, but give it up for USA Track and Field and USA Swimming.
When these two groups stood up last weekend and said a) this is a dumb idea and b) we can’t train properly, they got the metaphorical ball rolling.
Track, swimming, gymnastics and basketball power the Summer Olympics in America. And while we’re not the center of the world, the IOC does rotate around NBC.
The network paid $1.4 billion for the rights to the 2020 Olympics, and that’s some serious influence, kids.
By comparison, the British Broadcasting company paid $129 million (110 million pounds) for the rights to the 2022 and 2024 games. China Central Television is paying $550 to broadcast the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Think about it. China has three times the population of the United States and paid about a third of what NBC did. And remember that China’s hosting those 2022 Olympics which means that CCTV is getting more bang for its yuan.
Consider that 73% of the IOC’s funding comes from television rights. Do the math.
Once NBC’s ratings (track and field and swimming, soon after joined by gymnastics), threatened to bolt, the IOC started to move.
Perhaps, the IOC doesn’t deserve all that much credit.
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