NBC sells record $1 billion ads for 2012 Olympics

Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:18pm EDT

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(Reuters) - NBCUniversal, which runs the NBC broadcast and cable networks, said on Wednesday it had sold a record $1 billion of U.S. television and digital advertising for the 2012 London Olympics, but remained silent on whether it would turn a profit on the games.

The network said the figure, which includes ad sales across all NBCUniversal platforms airing coverage of the summer games that start this week, was some $150 million more than its total for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

NBCUniversal, a unit of Comcast Corp, paid $1.18 billion for the U.S. rights to broadcast the 2012 Olympics and executives said last month the jury was still out on whether it would make money from the event.

Network chiefs provided no profit update on Wednesday after releasing the latest ad sales figures. NBC reported a loss of some $223 million from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010.

NBCUniversal said digital ad sales surpassed $60 million, about three times more than the total for Beijing, reflecting the push to live stream every athletic competition on the NBCOlympics.com website and via an app for mobile devices and tablets.

The network is presenting a record 5,535 total hours of coverage for the London games across its broadcast and cable channels.

The opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics takes place in London on Friday.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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