Your sport wants entry in? Done, but we tell you how that happens, when your sport is on during the Games and anything else we want, we get. Television rights in your country? Done! In Australia Channel 9 and Foxtel paid $126 million for the 2012 Games. That’s $51 million more than what Channel 7 paid for the V8 Supercar rights for the entire year, and more than enough for the yearly combined rights for soccer and basketball.
In their defence, the IOC is only taking advantage of market conditions and building a nice nest egg to ensure the long-term viability of the Games in case of a downturn. But stakeholders – sponsors – want a lot for their investment. The US television networks can change events that don’t fit in with their scheduling. Corporations who sponsor the games, such as Dow Chemical, aren’t judged on ethical and social criteria before being allowed to become sponsors.
Chasing the dollar is one thing, but forgetting the Olympic ideals in the pursuit of profit and stakeholder return on investment is taking the shine off the Olympic brand.