LA 2024? NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus says he’s all for the idea.
“First and foremost, it would be great for us here as the U.S. television partner to have a domestic Games,” Lazarus told TheWrap Tuesday about the possibility of another Los Angeles Olympics.
“We think L.A. has a spirit of Olympism that’s undeniable. They’ve hosted two games in the past, both successfully, and they have a terrific set of venues, and — from what I’ve read and seen — great ideas about how to bring together a 2024 Games.”
“We obviously — for many reasons — think it would be a great city to host the Olympic Games,” Lazarus continued, “not just for our own selfish reasons, but I think for the Olympic movement and global appeal.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council approved a bid plan, paving the way for the U.S. Olympic Committee to make L.A. its official candidate for the 2024 Games, after Boston withdrew its bid earlier this summer.
NBC owns the TV Olympics rights, and the potential location has Lazarus’ support for another reason: live broadcasting of events.
“We’d do a lot of it live,” Lazarus explained. “That’s a very good time zone for us and our history has shown — whether it was with L.A. or with Salt Lake or Vancouver for the Winter Games — we think that would work out well.”
That said, Lazarus called the Olympics “somewhat resilient” even when the events don’t air live — a big plus in the delayed viewing landscape we inhabit. For example, the Sochi Winter Games did quite well for NBC despite the big time difference stateside.
Either way, Lazarus will get a run at similar timing next summer with the Rio Games, which will have predominantly live broadcast events.
“We’re expecting huge interest and large viewership” there, Lazarus said. He added that across the total day and multiple platforms: “We’re expecting this to be the most-consumed Games that have ever been held.”