KING Seattle has budgeted around $250,000 for its Olympic coverage this month, reports the Seattle Times, and expects huge ratings to make the whole Vancouver shebang profitable for the station.
Headed by Peter O’Connell, some 25 staffers will make the 150 mile trip north at various times; KING prez Ray Heacox told us last month that ten reporter-types will be there at all times. O’Connell says he started the Olympic planning for KING in July 2003, when Vancouver was awarded the Winter Games.
KING station manager Pat Costello expects KING to pop a major number during the Games.
The Seattle station, which also aired the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics, always has done well in the ratings during those events, Costello says. KING expects ratings to triple or quadruple during prime-time Olympics programs in the demographically desirable 25-to-54 age group.
“The Northwest is among the Top 10 in ratings, sometimes the Top 5,” Costello says of past Winter Olympics. “We’re sort of a winter-sports place.”