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NBC Retains Olympic Games

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Fireworks light up as the London 2012 Olympic Games countdown clock registers 500 days till the games begin at a ceremony in Trafalgar Square in central London, Monday, March, 14, 2011. From Tuesday morning, 6.6 million Olympic tickets become available, 500 days before the Games begin. People have a six-week window to apply for tickets on the London 2012 website(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

NBC beat out rivals ESPN and Fox to retain coverage of the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday.

NBC won the battle to broadcast the Games with a $4.4 billion deal for the next four Games that will last through 2020.

The deal comes just weeks after sports and Olympics chief Dick Ebersol resigned from his post after negotiations for a new contract fell through.

“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with our longstanding partner NBCU,” IOC President Jacques Rogge said in statement. “We received three excellent bids and would like to thank each broadcaster for their presentations.”

Added IOC Executive Board member Richard Carrión: “We assessed each bid against a thorough set of criteria and believe that the long-term nature of this agreement will not only ensure fantastic Olympic broadcast coverage in the US, but also support the long-term financial stability of the Olympic Movement as a whole.”

Much of the talk going into the bidding concerned whether NBC would go live with big events, with ESPN and Fox reportedly saying they would. Under Ebersol, NBC would broadcast popular events for primetime on tape delay.

NBC now holds the rights to the London Olympiad in 2012, 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, as well as the 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games that don’t currently have a host city.

“We are honored to continue as the US Olympic broadcaster for the remainder of this decade,”  Comcast CEO and Chairman, Brian Roberts, said in a statement.

The IOC made the decision after two days of meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the three broadcasting companies gave presentations and submitted their proposals.

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