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NBC Wins Olympic Games TV Rights Through 2020, IOC Confirms

UPDATED: Network pays $4.38 billion while beating out ESPN and Fox

NBC has retained the TV rights to the Olympic Games through 2020, the International Olympic Committee confirmed Tuesday.

The IOC said the deal was worth $4.38 billion. NBC said it expected to the Olympics to be profitable despite its Olympics losses in the past.

NBC also said it plans more live coverage than ever before, both on broadcast television and other mediums, to keep up with more technologies allowing people to follow the Olympics in real time.

NBC won a three-way bidding contest against ESPN and Fox despite fears that it might have lost its advantage with the exit of former NBC Universal Sports & Olympics chairman Dick Ebersol last month. Without saying who placed what bid, the IOC said it received one offer for four games and another for two.

"We made a disciplined bid that would have brought tremendous value to the Olympics and would have been profitable for our company," ESPN said in a statement. "To go any further would not have made good business sense for us. We wish to congratulate the IOC on a fair and transparent process, and we offer our best wishes to Comcast/NBC." 

The deal gives NBC exclusive rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, as well as the 2018 Winter Games and 2020 Summer Olympics, whose sites have not been chosen.

NBC has broadcast every Summer Olympics since 1988 and every Winter Games since 2002.