Chinese TV Faces Higher Costs As Olympic Athletes Raise the Bar

22 August 2008

BEIJING: The golden success of Chinese sportsmen and women and the huge viewing figures for the Beijing Olympic Games mean the country's broadcasters will have to dig deeper into their coffers for the rights to show future such events.

International Olympics Committee marketing boss Timo Lumme says China's TV companies will likely pay ten times more for the Games when the nation outruns Japan as the region's biggest Olympics advertising market.

It is believed state broadcaster CCTV paid the IOC a bargain basement price of $9 million (€6m, £4.8m) for the current event, but has generated some $400m in ad revenues.

The amount handed over by the host nation was determined by a $17.5m deal in the 1990s with the Asian Broadcasting Union to cover the games from 2000-08, before China was awarded the event.

In future, the IOC says it will negotiate separately with China and Hong Kong, and expects the price to be more than $100m.

Adds Lumme: "Obviously, times have changed and many of these economies, particularly China and Hong Kong, are growing faster.

"Just for China, we have to be looking at well into three figures [in millions of dollars]. These are discussions we have to have with China."

IOC broadcast revenues for 2005-08 were $2.6 billion for the 2006 winter games in Turin and this year's event in Beijing.

US broadcaster NBC paid $893m for the rights to broadcast the 2008 Games, while the European Broadcasting Union put up $443m and Japanese broadcasters pooled $180m. For Vancouver in 2010 and London in 2012, the IOC expects broadcast revenues to rise to about $3.9bn.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff