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Olympics-U.S. inching closer to revenue deal with IOC
May 13, 2012 / 10:18 PM / in 6 years

Olympics-U.S. inching closer to revenue deal with IOC

DALLAS, May 13 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United States hope to have a deal on revenue-sharing before the end of the year, USOC chairman Larry Probst told Reuters on Sunday.

A new agreement would remove the biggest roadblock to a future American bid to stage the Games. The U.S. has not staged the Summer Games since 1996 and the Winter Olympic since 2002.

The United States Olympic Committee nominated New York as a candidate for the 2012 Summer Games and Chicago for 2016, but lost both times, blaming the revenue dispute as a contributing factor.

“We absolutely need to get this resolved before bidding for a Summer or Winter Games,” Probst told Reuters during a break in the talks at the USOC media summit.

“We don’t have any firm deadline but we would like to have this done sooner rather than later, hopefully by the end of this calendar year.”

The sides are in dispute over revenue sharing from marketing and broadcast sales.

The IOC says the U.S. Olympic Committee receives more than its fair share and wants a different distribution of the Olympic pie.

But the USOC says it is entitled to a larger slice because American broadcasters and sponsors provide the bulk of the money the IOC gets.

“What we really want to do is try to restructure our relationship in a way that is fair to both sides but also fair to our athletes,” Probst said.

With the complex negotiations dragging into a 17th month, progress has been painfully slow, but Probst made no apologies for the uncertain state of negotiations.

”We plead guilty to being vague,“ he said. ”We made an agreement with the IOC that we would not talk about any of the specifics of the discussions or our meetings and we want to stick to that.

“We’re trying to strike a fine balance...it is complicated.”

USOC officials were no more forthcoming about medal predictions for the London Olympics other than to reaffirm their goal of finishing at the top of the medal table.

The USOC has stopped the practice of making medal predictions, saying that it creates artificial pressures for athletes.

“We are going into this to be the best prepared team we possibly can be with the idea we want to go and win the medal count,” said Alan Ashley, the USOC chief of sport performance.

“What that number is I cannot tell you because it is a moving target.” (Editing by Julian Linden)

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