Monday, August 17, 2009

Olympic TV Deal Postponed; Obama Still TBD for Copenhagen

In a mild boost for Chicago's Olympic bid, the USOC announced yesterday that they are postponing the launch of a Olympic television channel in the United States:

The U.S.O.C. chairman, Larry Probst, said Sunday that he had decided to delay development of the TV project until issues with the International Olympic Committee were resolved.

On Saturday, Probst met in Berlin with the I.O.C. president, Jacques Rogge, to discuss the U.S. Olympic Network.

“We want to try to get to the point where we’ve addressed all their issues and concerns as quickly as possible,” Probst said.

The I.O.C. criticized the U.S.O.C. last month for “unilaterally” announcing the start of the TV network on July 8, saying it raised complex legal questions and could jeopardize relations with NBC, the Olympic broadcaster.
The reason this became an issue for the Chicago 2016 Olympic big is because any disagreement between the IOC and USOC could cause IOC voting members to vote against Chicago for the 2016 games (it's a very political process as we've stated before). Again, the relations between the two parties threatened to derail the Chicago big, but luckily for Chicago the issue has seemed to be defused.

Finally, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil has confirmed that he will be in Copenhagen in early October to lobby for his country (as will the King of Spain. And Japan's crown prince). Chicago is the only bid that still hasn't confirmed who will be attending Copenhagen on their behalf. The big draw is obviously President Obama who has been rumored to attend. As we've stated before, if Obama shows up we think Chicago is a lock. If not, it's doubtful Chicago will win in our opinion (as simple and as silly as that may seem).

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