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June 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Comcast, which now controls NBC, may have a lot more to lose from its over-the-top bid for the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 summer games in Rio de Janeiro, than GE did when it owned the network, according to several analysts. The reason, they observed, is that GE was able to derive ancillary benefits from its deal. “GE didn’t mind bidding up to win the Olympics in China if it meant the company could sell turbines and water solutions and all the other GE products,” said David Joyce, an analyst at Miller Tabak & Co. in New York, in an interview with Bloomberg News. “You don’t have that with Comcast.” But Sanford Bernstein media analyst Craig Moffett told Bloomberg that while the Olympics are almost certainly a “loss leader” for Comcast, the deal was necessary from a prestige standpoint. “The NBC brand is tightly intertwined with the Olympics,” said Moffett. “Some shareholders will realize that restoring NBC will require spending some money.” That view was shared by Macquarie Securities analyst Amy Yong, who also observed that NBC won’t be able to make money from the Olympics, “But if they don’t win it, they lose the brand and the franchise value.”