Chicago "never had a chance"

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Chicago "never had a chance" of winning the right to host the 2016 Games due to the United States Olympic Committee's (USOC) fractious relationship with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), according to NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol.

NBC Sports, which splashed out $5. 7bn for broadcast rights to the Olympics from 2000–12, is a key financial contributor to the IOC's commercial revenues. Several networks are understood to be in the running for the rights to the 2016 Games, which were awarded to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on Friday 2 October 2009. Chicago crashed out of the running in the first round of voting, leaving several IOC members stunned. "This was the IOC membership saying to the USOC there will be no more domestic Olympics until you join the Olympic movement, " Ebersol told the Los Angeles Times. "Chicago never had a chance, it turns out. " Ebersol added that Rio's victory was "spectacular and deserved". Ebersol was highly critical of the USOC's proposal to launch a new Olympic–dedicated network back in July. Although the USOC eventually agreed to delay the launch of the US Olympic Network until issues with the IOC had been resolved, Ebersol said at the time that the development could cost Chicago the Olympics. Ebersol told The Chicago Tribune in July: "The only thing that can cost Chicago the Games is continuing squabbles between the two parties, and this one clearly is all on the USOC, no two ways about it. Chicago has the best American bid I have ever seen. It is heartbreaking to see the continuing USOC–IOC squabbles get in the middle of it. "IOC member Denis Oswald said that the vote on Friday "was a defeat for the USOC, not for Chicago". He said: "It was clear that between the USOC and Chicago there were differences. Although everybody tried to look united, it was clear it was not. " Australian IOC member Kevan Gosper, speaking about Chicago's early exit, said: "The whole thing doesn't make sense other than there has been a stupid bloc vote. " He added that the embarrassing defeat for Chicago could do "untold damage" to the relationship between the USOC and the IOC. "To have the president of the US and his wife personally appear, then this should happen in the first round is awful and totally undeserving, " he said. Fellow IOC member Rene Fasel said that Chicago's first–round elimination "was just an accident". He said: "I expected to have a different vote in the end. If Chicago is against Rio, it will be much closer. " Bob Ctvrtlik, the USOC's vice–president of international relations admitted: "The United States, within the Olympic movement, hasn't engaged as well as we could have for a long time. This (defeat) isn't just on the merits. I don't think it's anti–American. Maybe we still don't have the horsepower to do some of the politicking within the movement. "About The Sport Briefing This story has been reproduced with the kind permission of The Sport Briefing. The Sport Briefing is published by PA Sport and can be found at: www. thesportbriefing. comThe Sport Briefing is updated as and when news happens, from across the global business of sport. The industry's biggest stories have an accompanying email alert, and The Sport Briefing sends subscribers a daily digest to give them an easy–to–read overview of the day's main events. Contact rory. squires@thesportbriefing. com for more information.

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