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Comcast CEO Brian Roberts on NBCU's Olympic Bid: 'One of the most unique, stressful, dramatic and ultimately rewarding experiences I have had'

This morning Fortune held a breakfast discussion with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Not surprisingly, NBCUniversal’s successful bid for 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 Olympics were a big topic of discussion. Roberts candidly discussed their strategy for bidding and how they plan to turn a profit.

Roberts called the bidding experience “One of the most unique, stressful, dramatic and ultimately rewarding experiences I have had.”

Roberts said that the finances could clearly be worked out, noting that NBC has had the Olympics for 20 years, and would only be losing money for two of the games (Vancouver and London). The challenge was figuring out how to maximize revenue from the three big buckets: advertising, money from cable and satellite providers, and affiliates, as well as ensuring that the rights were all-encompassing enough to take advantage of technological change that may occur over the next decade.

“We had to find a way that they could be satisfied with what they were getting; and we could absolutely feel that we could make money into the future. The only way we could see to do that was to go long. Their stated bidding rules were not for anything but one quad, two games. They said ‘If you don’t offer for two we won’t consider anything else.’

Read more

Poynter Offers Latest Premature Review of Grantland

Naturally we had to cover the June 8 premiere of Bill Simmons‘ website Grantland and will continue to chronicle major developments in the site’s history, including those instances when someone forgets to pay a bill and the domain goes dark, as it did briefly over the weekend. But the site is only 12 days old, and yet countless sports bloggers and web sites have weighed in with their initial impressions, thinking the insular world of sports writing can justify the endless publication of opinions about a fluid, fledgling website. More has been written about Grantland in the last 12 days than will appear on Grantland in the next 12 years.

The latest entity to toss in their two cents is the Poynter Institute, the venerable journalism body that serves as ESPN.com’s current ombudsman. Why they felt compelled to comment now is beyond me, and if it weren’t our job to read what the they had to say about Grantland, we certainly wouldn’t. Why? Because the site is 12 days old, and we’ve played games of Monopoly with longer shelf lives than that.

To briefly summarize what Kelly McBride of the Poynter said, and what 100 percent of all Grantland observers have also said in so many, many words, Bill Simmons’ new website has the potential to be a valuable new forum for long-form sport journalism, and includes some great pieces, some not so great pieces, and will probably work out the kinks when it’s been existence for more than, say, a freaking fortnight.

 

Domain Expires on Bill Simmons' Grantland

Bill SimmonsGrantland debuted on June 8th with a great deal of fanfare in sports writing circles, and has now gone dark just 11 days later, the victim of oversight. Specifically, someone forgot to renew the site’s domain name, which expired June 13, so the site either needs to be renewed or it will be deleted. As of 4:16 p.m., the site looks like this to the right. According to Network Solutions, which owns the domain, “Once a domain name has been renewed, it may take up to 48 hours to be reactivated.”

So even if someone from Grantland (or ESPN.com) runs down to Network Solutions with a handful of quarters right now, there’s no guarantee the site will be back up and running before Tuesday. In the meantime schadenfreude among jealous sportswriters runs wild.

 

 

Stanley Cup Game 6 Earns 3.9 Overnight Rating

Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between Vancouver and Boston earned a 3.9 overnight rating for NBC, the highest-rated game of the 2010-11 season.

Those numbers are down 33 percent from last year’s Game 6 clincher between Chicago and Philadelphia, which drew a 5.8.

However, the ratings are even from the last non-clinching Game 6 NBC aired in 2009 between Detroit and Pittsburgh.

 

HBO Developing Freddie Roach Reality Series

HBO is developing a new primetime reality series on famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach.

On Freddie Roach will be directed by Emmy nominee Peter Berg and executive produced by Jim Lampley, Sarah Aubrey and Michael Price.

The six-episode series is set to debut in early 2012 and the cinéma-vérité series focuses on Roach, who owns and operates the famed Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood. Cameras will document Roach as he manages his personal life with his life inside the gym, all while fighting Parkinson’s disease. Read more

ESPN Golf Analysts React On The Death Of Seve Ballesteros

Legendary golfer Seve Ballesteros died Saturday from complications of a cancerous brain tumor at the age of 54.

A trio of ESPN analysts shared their thoughts on the life of Ballesteros:

Andy North, two-time U.S. Open Champion – “I played quite a bit of golf with him over those years. He was really a special player. He had such a flare for the game. He was one of those players that the fans just bond to. They loved the way he played. He was aggressive, he was entertaining to watch. And I think that of all the players I played with, he probably had the best imagination of anybody I ever saw. He was fun to watch even when you were playing with him. Read more

Bob Costas Is Ready For The 137th Kentucky Derby

When you have 22 Sports Emmys, you can get away with ridiculous photos like this.

[H/T Jimmy Traina, Photo via Maria Menounos]

Under Armour looking for interns to communicate via Twitter and Facebook about working at company

Can you craft a 140-character cover letter that highlights your passion for sports and marketing? Under Armour is looking for two college or graduate students who can join the Baltimore-based apparel company this summer and then take to Twitter and Facebook to discuss their experiences.

“Under Armour is constantly looking for fresh and innovative ways to reach our audience and tell our story,” said Dan Mecchi, Under Armour’s Director of Digital Media. “We’re raising the stakes on the typical internship by offering two passionate and talented candidates the opportunity to join our team.”

The internship is available to current undergraduate or graduate students who will be returning to school after the summer. The selected interns will receive a $5,000 scholarship paid directly to his or her school. The final 100 candidates will be announced on May 16. After receiving additional information from each candidate 10 finalists will be selected to conduct a Skype interview on May 23. From the group of 10 two Ultimate Interns will be announced in the end of May. Applicants must be able to live in Baltimore from June 13 – July 15. Airfare, travel and housing expenses are covered as part of the internship.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/underarmour.

 

Need A Reason To Follow Mike Wilbon On Twitter?

Left to right: Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon and Thomas Boswell in 1987.

Wilbon also wrote a column on his decision to finally join Twitter.

Keep the photos coming, Mike!

WEEI.com, SB Nation Announce Content Partnership

WEEI.com and SB Nation announced a new content sharing partnership that will integrate content from both websites.

Highlights of their new agreement include:

  • WEEI.com will feature headlines and content from SB Nation websites relevant to all the Boston teams, and SB Nation will bring WEEI.com’s highly-regarded reporting and personalities to its readers in Boston and beyond.
  • A new feature on WEEI.com called “Behind Enemy Lines” will provide news and commentary from SB Nation’s network of team-focused blogs about upcoming Boston opponents.
  • A new, co-branded landing page will include links to SB Nation content appearing on WEEI.com as well as outbound links to national stories within the SB Nation network. Read more

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