Bell Media partners with CBC for 2014, 2016 Olympic rights
The Rio 2016 Olympics Games emblem, projected on a video screen, at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro in 2010. (AP / Felipe Dana)
Published Friday, September 9, 2011 11:38AM EDT
Bell Media and CBC/Radio-Canada have agreed to form a partnership to bid for the exclusive Canadian media rights for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Bell Media President Kevin Crull said Friday that the company looks forward to the chance to deliver the best Olympics coverage possible to Canadians.
"The Olympic Games are a premium property that requires a strong partnership in order to deliver the level of experience that Canadian viewers and advertising partners now expect," Crull said in a statement.
"With our combined resources and experience, this strategic alliance with CBC/Radio-Canada allows us to deliver the best possible Games experience to Canadians, and ensure the legacy of the Olympic movement in this country."
The new partnership between Bell Media and CBC/Radio-Canada will make their bid for the broadcast rights independently of Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, which comprises Bell Media (80 per cent) and Rogers Media Inc. (20 per cent).
That consortium broadcast the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and is set to broadcast the London 2012 Olympic Games next summer.
The new partnership with CBC/SRC is expected to be a balanced arrangement, allowing both organizations to share the responsibility equally of bringing the Olympic Games to Canadians.
Though Rogers Media will not be part of the broadcast rights bidding for the 2014-2016 Games, Crull said he looks forward to working with Rogers on this summer's Olympics in London.
"Of course, London 2012 is just around the corner, and we look forward to extending the successful partnership with Rogers exhibited at Vancouver 2010 into a powerful media experience for viewers once again," he said.
Rogers Media announced on Thursday that it had decided not to pursue a bid for the Canadian broadcast rights of the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games.
The company, which owns the Sportsnet specialty channels and Citytv network, decided not to bid for the Games after it reviewed its financial priorities, Rogers Media President Keith Pelley said.
"As much as Rogers Media would like to continue being involved with the Olympic Movement, scheduling conflicts, combined with our financial priorities, suggest that it's best for us not to be involved at this time," said Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media Inc. "We had an option and chose not to exercise it."
The International Olympic Committee is expected to begin the bidding process for the Canadian media rights to future Olympic Games later this year.
No further details will be released by Bell Media until the bid process is complete.