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Once savvy, NBC’s Olympics deal is shakier after Beijing

NEW YORK (AP) — There were many reasons to think NBC made a savvy business deal in 2014 when it locked up the American media rights to the Olympics through 2032 for $7.75 billion.

As the Beijing winter games come to a close, it’s harder to see them now.

These Olympics were a disaster for the network: a buzz-free, hermetically-sealed event in an authoritarian country a half-day’s time zone away, where the enduring images will be the emotional meltdown of Russian teen-agers after a drug-tainted figure skating competition and a bereft Mikaela Shiffrin, sitting on a ski slope wondering what went wrong.

Many American athletes underperformed, and arguably the most successful — freestyle skier Eileen Gu — competed for China.

Viewers stayed away in alarming numbers, and NBC has to…


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