At the time of the announcement, both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and NBC understandably balked at the plans. NBC has paid huge sums for the rights fees to broadcast the Olympics in the United States and Universal Sports, a joint venture between NBC and Intermedia Partners has the rights to all the U.S. Olympic trials.
Bizarrely, although the plans for the USOC network have been nixed, USOC chairman Larry Probst continues to feign surprise at the reaction.
“We anticipated a reaction that would’ve been neutral to positive and that didn’t happen. It was a miscalculation on our part. The execution on this could’ve been better,” he said.
Apparently one of the reasons USOC gave in and announced that it was scrapping (or at least delaying) the plans for the network is that by raising the ire of the IOC, the USOC was hampering Chicago’s chances for its bid for the 2016 Olympics.