APNewsBreak: IOC and USOC begin revenue talks
LAUSANNE, Switzerland – U.S. and international Olympic officials opened talks Tuesday on a new revenue-sharing agreement that could resolve their long-running financial rift.
A delegation of U.S. Olympic Committee leaders held a first formal meeting with International Olympic Committee officials in Lausanne to begin negotiations on a long-term deal covering the split of sponsorship and television money.
The new formula would take effect in 2020.
The discussions were held at IOC headquarters and lasted about an hour. They were meant to be secret but The Associated Press learned of the talks and confirmed them with both sides.
"We had a good, constructive dialogue on the overall allocation of resources," USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun told the AP. "We agreed to get together again."
Blackmun declined to give details.
No date has been set for the next round of talks.
Currently, the USOC receives a 20 percent share of global sponsorship revenue and a 12.75 percent share of U.S. broadcast rights deals — figures many international officials feel is excessive.
International resentment over the USOC's refusal to make financial concessions was considered a key factor in Chicago's humiliating first-round loss in the IOC vote in 2009 for the 2016 Olympics. That followed New York's defeat in the race for the 2012 Games.
Representing the USOC at Tuesday's meeting were chairman Larry Probst, Blackmun and business executive Fraser Bullock, a former leader of the Salt Lake City Olympic organizing committee.
The IOC delegation consisted of marketing commission chairman Gerhard Heiberg, finance commission head Richard Carrion and chief of staff Christophe De Kepper.
Probst and Blackmun have made a concerted effort in the past year to reconnect the USOC with the international movement.
A first breakthrough on financial issues came in September when the USOC agreed to contribute about $18 million toward the administrative costs of staging the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games.
Negotiations on a broader long-term deal were originally scheduled to begin in 2013, but both sides agreed last year to start as soon as possible.