Consortium will ‘break even’ on Games

Ad revenue boosted by home-soil advantage will cover the $90 million price tag, says CTV's Rick Brace.

‘We’re going to break even,’ says CTV exec Rick Brace, of the Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium’s 2010 Vancouver Games investment.

Brace, the network’s president of revenue, business planning and sports, said the CTV and Rogers Communications-led consortium will earn enough TV and online ad revenue to cover the $90 million price tag for the exclusive Vancouver Games rights, and added production and marketing costs.

NBC said it will lose money on its US coverage of the Vancouver Games, but the CTV-led consortium has the home-soil advantage, Brace argued.

‘We’re dealing with the Games in our own country. You have awareness, you have emotion, you have all of the things that form the recipe to allow you to open the doors more easily with agencies and sponsors,’ he said.

The consortium is also providing wall-to-wall TV and online coverage, instead of funnelling audiences to prime-time, to pull in as much ad revenue as it can.

‘NBC is focusing on prime-time, yet we’re going around the clock with this thing,’ Brace said. ‘From a practical standpoint, we quite simply needed a lot of [ad] inventory to cover the investment that we made here,’ he added.

Brace and fellow CTV executives have also been shepherding a host of Canadian CEOs around the Vancouver Games to secure as much of their business as possible before the 2010 event wraps.

The CTV exec insists most Canadian viewers still get their Olympic coverage from the TV set, but increasingly they’re also going online and to other alternative digital platforms for Games coverage. ‘This is the new culture and what viewers expect. Now it’s much more commonplace that people go to different platforms to get content.’

From Playback Daily