Top Olympic Bid Stories of 2011: #2 NBC Wins $4.38 Billion U.S. Bid For Olympic Television Rights Until 2020 presents the fourth annual Top Ten list of Olympic Bid Stories for 2011. These stories impacted the course of Olympic bids, or the Olympic bid process, and formed interesting plotlines for the year. We’ll run them down from 10th to 1st during the holiday season.

Top Olympic Bid Stories of 2011: #2 NBC Wins $4.38 Billion U.S. Bid For Olympic Television Rights Until 2020

We really struggled with this one. This is a list of the top 10 OLYMPIC BID stories – so how does a story about a bloated television rights agreement fit in? Well, the answer to this kind of ties some of the earlier items on our list together.

Our #3 story was about Lillehammer winning the 2016 Youth Olympic Games bid without a contest presumably because of the economic climate – a conclusion arrived at because the only other times bids went uncontested were during periods when the Games were not financially feasible.

Our #9 story was about the resurgence of bids for the Youth Olympic bids for the 2018 Games. Between these two events was the signing of a $4.38 billion broadcast contract with NBC for the Games to 2020.

Maybe it was just a coincidence, especially if you look at the fact that there are only six bidders for the 2020 Summer Games – the fewest in many years. But the confidence shown by NBC and the other competing American networks after they bet real money on the success of the Games will certainly boost the optimism of cities that will need to invest at least that much to host the mainstream version of the Games themselves.

We think this story is less about TV and more about the fuel that will run the Olympic movement and boost the Olympic bid process for many years to come. At least it’s about a $4.38 billion investment in why we’re all reading this.

Hopefully that explanation gets us of the hook with those keeping score.

Watch for top 10 story #1 coming soon on

About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.