Fox, ESPN Happy to Lose Olympic Bid

AP Photo

It didn’t quite have the feel of a celebration. But it certainly didn’t feel like a funeral, either.

As ESPN and Fox Sports executives hung out together in the back lobby of the ornate Palace Hotel in Lausanne last Tuesday afternoon — still hours before the International Olympic Committee awarded U.S. media rights to the 2014-2020 Games — both networks figured NBC would be awarded the Games.

Fox executives told SportsBusiness Journal that they suspected their bid would not be big enough before they even traveled to Switzerland. ESPN executives said they viewed their bid as a long shot at best, but thought they might have a chance if NBC, as rumored, submitted a lowball bid.

At best, ESPN and Fox executives thought...

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