NBC Has HD Plans for Olympics

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Cable operators will have to wait to find out how much green they'll have
to pay after NBC came up with the gold with its record $2.2 billion U.S. rights
deal to the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games.

But they could discover in the next month whether they'll be able to opt in
to a dedicated HDTV channel presenting events from the 2004 Summer Olympics from
Athens.

David Zaslav, president of NBC Cable Networks, said a decision could be made
within the next 30 days about a package proffering a diverse array of Games
fare.

'We've been talking to operators and they have expressed interest in
compelling HD programming,' he said. 'It would offer the Olympics in bulk, with
a little of everything. We're talking about compelling programming, whether it's
live or on delay. It really could be a grand slam.'

Although he didn't specify, Zaslav said operators would have to pay for the
HD Olympics package.

'There are enormous costs involved in terms of having
different cameras and technical setups,' he said. 'These are high costs for a
relatively small universe, but we're leaning toward green-lighting it. We want
something that positive for NBC, positive for cable operators and positive for
viewers.'

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