It wasn't like George Bodenheimer (above), ESPN's chief executive, was exactly defending NBC's much-maligned Olympics ratings performance. But at a New York luncheon sponsored by the International Radio and Television Society last week, he did try to put the Games into some perspective.
"You can't analyze the success of a major sports property anymore by simply looking at the prime time television rating and looking at the ad dollars that you're putting against it,''Bodenheimer said. "NBC is certainly looking at what they did with CNBC, MSNBC, their Internet sites. And the Today Show is down there doing well."
So by looking at megaspot deals more broadly, maybe they look better? "The only way to be comfortable with these deals is to look at them broadly and tell yourself, so many times, it make sense." he joked. ESPN, of course, has expensive baseball and NFL pacts.