The International Olympic Committee has rejected a joint offer from Bell and CBC to televise the next Winter Games and the 2016 Summer Games, the Toronto Star reported Tuesday.
Peter Sisam, a Toronto sports consultant working with the IOC, said he expects the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Bell Media, whose assets include CTV and the sports channel TSN, to make a subsequent bid.
“They have made an offer and it was turned down,” he said. “The ball is in their court. They will complain they need a lot of lead-in time for the Olympics, but we aren’t worried. There’s a market price for the Games and I think we’ll get to that.”
Although the Winter Games are two years away, negotiations have begun now as broadcasters need time to hire staff. Advertisers also want to be able to leverage ties to the Olympics beforehand.
The worst-case scenario is that a breakdown in negotiations would leave Canada without a domestic broadcaster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia and the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil. That would force Canadian viewers to turn to NBC for coverage with no French-language feed.