QUEBEC CITY – International and U.S. Olympic leaders finalized a new revenue-sharing agreement that ends years of acrimony between the powerful bodies and clears the way for future American bids for the games, two officials with knowledge of the negotiations said Thursday.
The officials told The Associated Press the long-term deal received final approval from the International Olympic Committee executive board and will be signed by both sides later Thursday.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement is to be formally announced at a news conference by IOC President Jacques Rogge and U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst and CEO Scott Blackmun.
The deal, which runs until 2040, resolves a long-running dispute over the U.S. share of Olympic television and marketing revenues that soured relations between the two bodies and undermined recent American bids for the games.
The USOC had said repeatedly it will not bid again until the revenue issue is resolved. With a deal now in place, the U.S. will consider whether to bid for the 2022 Winter Games or 2024 Summer Olympics.
Under a long-standing contract, the USOC has received a 20 percent share of global sponsorship revenue and a 12.75 percent cut of U.S. broadcast rights deals. The IOC believed the U.S. share, set out in an open-ended contract dating back to 1996, was excessive and should be renegotiated.
The new revenue-sharing terms will take effect in 2020. According to a senior official with knowledge of the terms, the USOC will retain the revenue it currently receives but its TV rights share will be reduced to 7 percent on any increases in broadcast deals and its marketing share cut in half to 10 percent on increases in sponsorship revenue.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms are not being made public.
In addition, the USOC agreed to contribute to the administrative costs of staging the Olympics — $15 million through 2020 and $20 million after 2020, the official said. The contract also covers issues related to ownership of Olympic rights, trademarks and historic TV footage.
Talks to reach a settlement have been going on for more than two years. The deal was essentially sealed when IOC director general Christophe De Kepper traveled to Washington last week to meet with Blackmun and tie up the final details. Both men then proceeded to get the backing of their respective boards.
Lingering international resentment over the U.S. share of revenues was a key factor in New York's failed bid for the 2012 Olympics and Chicago's stinging first-round elimination in the vote for the 2016 Games.
The U.S. last hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta and last staged the Winter Games in 2002 in Salt Lake City.
Among the U.S. cities that have expressed early interest in bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics are Salt Lake City; Denver; Reno-Lake Tahoe, Nevada; and Bozeman, Montana. Dallas is among those interested in the 2024 Summer Olympics.