GM putting up $300 mil for NBC Olympics pact

NEW YORK — General Motors Corp. is set to become the first major advertiser to ink a long-term Olympics sponsorship pact with NBC in what could be the largest sports ad-buy to date.

The deal, valued at upwards of $300 million, will cover five consecutive winter and summer Olympics to which NBC already has secured broadcast rights, running from 2000 to 2008.

As first reported (Daily Variety, June 30), NBC has been seeking to amortize its $3.6 billion in TV rights by lining up long-term sponsors. Although GM is first in line, the web is also said to be in talks with Coca-Cola, IBM, Eastman-Kodak Co. and McDonald’s Corp., among other longtime Olympics backers, but none is expected to sign on at least until fall.

The biggest sponsors paid as much as $60 million each for ads during last summer’s Olympics in Atlanta.

GM’s unprecedented new deal is split between NBC and the U.S. Olympics Committee, with NBC earning money for TV spots and the USOC selling sponsorships of U.S. Olympic teams. The exact revenue split couldn’t be determined.

The pact is to be announced Wednesday. An NBC spokesman declined to comment.

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