Ebersol Says Olympics Will Be Moneymaker


NBC Olympics chief Dick Ebersol said Monday that despite modest ratings, the network will make $50 million-75 million in profit on this month's Winter Games from Torino, Italy, and is "not even discussing" offering make goods to Olympic advertisers.

"We are sitting on a mountain of more than $900 million in cash between the network, cable and our owned stations for these Games, and I can promise you it's safe," Ebersol said on a conference call Monday. "At this point we are not even discussing make-goods and it's the belief of the business side of the company that we won't need to."

Through Sunday, NBC’s average rating was a 12.1, in the lower range of what was promised to advertisers. However, the average number should get a boost this week thanks to the popular ladies figure skating competition.

Ebersol also said the company expects to make a profit of $5 million-$6 million from NBCOlympics.com, which he says is the first time the endeavor will be profitable.

On that topic, Ebersol also said he expects to eventually stream events live on the web.

"I do see a day, certainly by the end of our current connection with the IOC with the deals we have going forward in London (Olympics in 2012), that we will see a few more things move over and be seen as they happen on the Internet," he said.