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Olympics on the Cheap? NBC Sports Cuts Production Staff 40% From Torino Levels, Pay Cut as Well

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 3:00 PM, under , ,

Numbers that have been floating around the internet and mainstream have pegged potential losses for NBC Sports on the 2010 Winter Olympic Games at $200-250 Million. According to one source knowledgeable of what is happening at the network, the losses could exceed $400 millions if the ratings are just average. So what is NBC Sports doing to cushion the blow, according to this source?

The first visible thing is that NBC Sports has cut staffing for these games around 40% from the levels employed at Torino. The second thing is that the network also offered potential staffers the lowest pay scale ever, in some cases up to 1/3rd of what they could make at other networks doing regular sporting events that have year-to-year continuity.

What does this mean for viewers?

Despite the fact that NBC Universal is going to be providing 835 total hours of coverage on their six platforms (NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC, Universal HD, and, the back end production may suffer from inexperienced technical/production staff and/or degraded quality from experienced technical/production staff because of overwork and fatigue.

The only way we will know is when we watch the finished product on the air or online.

Note: We have sent an inquiry to NBC Sports media relations to find out their perspective/side of this story.

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