No Deal: Still No Agreement on US-IOC Revenues
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — As Olympic leaders gather for their first executive board meeting of 2012, there is one thorny issue that won’t be on the agenda for approval.
The long-running revenue negotiations between international and U.S. Olympic officials made progress in recent weeks, but failed to produce an agreement in time for the two-day IOC executive board meetings that opened in Lausanne on Tuesday.
“We still don’t yet have an agreement,” International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge told The Associated Press. “That will not be discussed at this executive board, but I hope that this can be achieved at further meetings. There a couple of issues we still have to discuss.”
Rogge said “hopefully” the two sides will reach a deal ahead of one of the next IOC board meetings, which will be held in Moscow next month, Quebec City in May and London in July on the eve of the 2012 Games.
The revenue-sharing issue has strained ties between the IOC and U.S. Olympic Committee for years and is holding up potential U.S. bids for future games.
At the heart of the dispute is a long-standing contract that gives the USOC a 20 percent share of global sponsorship revenue and a 12.75 percent cut of U.S. broadcast rights deals. The IOC believes the U.S. share is excessive and should be redistributed. Any new formula would go into effect after 2020.
Recent talks have centered on a potential 20-year deal through 2040 that would also include U.S. contributions toward the administrative costs of staging the games.
The sides came close last week to reaching an agreement to submit to their boards for ratification, but still remain apart on a few points. Details have not been disclosed.
After New York’s unsuccessful bid for the 2012 Olympics and Chicago’s humiliating first-round defeat in the vote for the 2016 Games, the USOC has said it will not bid again until the revenue issue is resolved.
The next chance to bid would be for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Among the U.S. cities that have expressed early interest in bidding for those games are 2002 host Salt Lake City; Denver; Reno-Lake Tahoe, Nevada; and Bozeman, Montana.
Copyright Associated Press