The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

April 30, 2012

Yahoo to double Olympics presence in London

LOS ANGELES — Yahoo plans to double its Olympics presence this summer, aiming to be the top website for the fourth straight Games.

Yahoo is sending 25 people from around the world to cover the Summer Games in London — about “twice as big” as it had in the Winter Games — including U.S. gold medal winners Shannon Miller and Dan O’Brien and many of its sports columnists and reporters. It also plans to cover the games in dozens of languages.

The move is an effort to outshine competitors. Despite not paying for exclusive rights to cover the games, Yahoo says it has been the No. 1 global destination for Olympics coverage for the past three games.

In February 2010, Yahoo Sports had 32 million unique visitors and 254 million page views for the Vancouver Games, it says. Second-place NBC, which paid for exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to cover, had 19 million visitors and 251 million page views.

NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp. that has agreed to pay $4.4 billion for the U.S. rights to carry the Games through 2020, lost $200 million on the Winter Olympics. By contrast, Yahoo’s Olympics coverage is profitable, says Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo’s head of global media.

“These games will be the biggest revenue driver we’ve ever had for an event by a long shot,” he says.

The Summer Games will represent a test of Levinsohn’s broadened role of overseeing Yahoo’s global media efforts. Previously, he oversaw media for the Americas.

The event also represents Yahoo’s bigger push into video. Levinsohn said the site will have five times the video coverage of the previous games. Proctor & Gamble Co. is a key sponsor for various projects, including one that features the mothers of Olympians.

 

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