USA Track and Field has cut an eight-year deal for NBC to present the federation’s key events on its main broadcast network, cable and digital platforms.
Details of the contract, which runs through 2024, were given to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been made public.
The deal is considered groundbreaking for Olympic sports, many of which pay the network’s production costs in exchange for the air time.
The person familiar with the arrangement said it greatly reduces USATF’s costs, which have reached nearly $2 million a year.
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The agreement calls for at least 18 hours of live coverage of USATF events, including national championships and the Prefontaine Classic, with at least eight of those hours on NBC. These events are in addition to the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Trials and Olympics.
This is the latest in a series of moves that have dramatically increased NBC’s presence in presenting Olympic sports. In 2010, the last year NBC presented Olympic sports only on weekends and on its main broadcast channel, it televised about 75 hours of Olympic sports, not counting the Games and trials. In 2016, NBC will exceed 1,300 hours on all its platforms.
NBC has the contract to televise the Olympic Games in the United States through 2032.