In news that involves unfathomable amounts of money that none of us common folk are likely to ever enjoy, network company NBC agreed to pay a staggering 7.75 billion dollars for the rights to broadcast the six Olympics—both summer and winter—from 2022 to 2032.
The value at which the Olympics was set at is indicative of the importance that television companies have in broadcasting live events. In an era where television is consumable on means other than a physical TV—tablets, phones, computers—advertisers are willing to shell out the largest sums of money to live television. This typically means “sports”.
Scripted television ratings have plummeted in the past fifteen years with the rise of other technologies; however, live events have proven to a consistent way to keep audiences on their couches, glued to the action. ESPN doles out billions of dollars for live broadcasts of NCAA, MLB, NBA, and NFL events, while networks like FOX, CBS, and NBC have lucrative contracts with the NFL.
The biggest concern to be had out of NBC’s new deal is that the landscape of the television is ever-shifting and the most volatile it has ever been. It’s difficult to predict what television as we know it will look like 18 years down the road. NBC, however, has said they are not concerned, believing it to be an integral part of the company’s programming.