Almost No One Wants To Host The Olympics, Because It's A Costly, Corrupt Mess

from the protect-that-brand dept

For many years, we've written about questionable activities by the Olympics, usually focusing on the organization's insanely aggressive approach to intellectual property, which could be summed up as "we own and control everything." Yes, the Olympics requires countries to pass special laws that protect its trademarks and copyrights beyond what standard laws allow. Of course, this is really much more about control and money. It's simply shining a light on just how corrupt the whole Olympic setup is. For decades, the Olympics has tried to hide this basic truth, and it has always been able to get various cities and countries to actively compete to suffer through the Olympics requirements, often with promises of big money in tourism and local business as a result. But it looks like jig may be up.

As Dan Wetzel notes, it appears that almost no one has any interest in hosting the 2022 Olympics. The only active attempts are Beijing (which is 120 miles from a mountain suitable for skiing) and Almaty Kazakhstan. All the other credible players have bailed out:

Certainly not Oslo, Norway, not even at the bargain rate of an estimated $5.4 billion in a nation of just five million people. It once wanted desperately to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and its bid was so perfect that it was considered the favorite to win. Then the country held a vote earlier this year and 55.9 percent of Norwegians opposed.

Wednesday the Norwegian government effectively pulled the bid. Norwegians are known for the ability to cross country ski really fast and being so friendly they beg visitors to come experience their picturesque nation. Since this involved the IOC however, they decided against having visitors come experience their picturesque nation to watch them cross country ski really fast.

They aren't alone. Previous finalist Krakow, Poland, saw 70 percent voter opposition and pulled its application. A majority felt the same way in Germany and Switzerland, killing bids in Munich and St. Moritz respectively. In Sweden the majority party rejected funding the proposed games in Stockholm.

Plenty of other countries didn't even bother thinking about it. As Wetzel points out, basically the only two countries interested are authoritarian regimes:
Essentially the only places interested in hosting the 2022 games are countries where actual citizens aren't allowed a real say in things – communist China and Kazakhstan, a presidential republic that coincidentally has only had one president since it split from the old USSR in 1989.
To sum it up:
Essentially the entire world has told the IOC it's a corrupt joke.
Don't hold back:
The IOC has billions of dollars laying around and billions more coming because to most people the Olympics is just a television show and the ratings are so high that the broadcast rights will never go down. The IOC doesn't pay the athletes. It doesn't share revenue with host countries. It doesn't pay for countries to send their athletes. It doesn't lay out any construction or capital costs. It doesn't pay taxes.

It basically holds caviar rich meetings in five star hotels in the Alps before calling it a day. That and conduct weak investigations into corruption charges of the bidding process, of course. "No evidence uncovered" is on a win streak.

It's a heck of a racket.
Except now the racket may be ending. Except for China and Kazakhstan. Wetzel's conclusion is spot on:
So China or Kazakhstan it is, the last two suckers on earth willing to step up to this carnival barker.

One lucky nation will win. The other will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The Olympics are from another era -- one of top down, "we control and own everything while paying none" variety. We've seen those types of businesses failing in lots of other arenas -- and now it may be happening to the Olympics as well.

Filed Under: china, control, corruption, kazakhstan, olympics, sports, top down


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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:30am

    Silver lining: NBC lawsuits drop by default.

    Now, if only the athletes would realize what a joke the Olympics are.

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    • icon
      JWW (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:24am

      Re:

      Ummm, if you're an athlete in an obscure sport that no one watches outside of once every 4 years, and you have a chance to become a household name AND make millions in endorsements for the rest of your life, how are the Olympics a joke for them?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:14am

        Re: Re:

        Name one athlete who won a single gold medal in the Olympics in the last 5 years.

        I bet you can't name anyone.

        Most Olympic games aren't even aired on TV. You have to watch them at 3 AM or so live on the Internet.

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        • identicon
          PRMan, 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Off the top of my head:

          Michael Phelps
          Kyla Ross
          McKayla Maroney
          Gabby Douglas
          Drew Doughty
          Roberto Luongo
          Jonathan Toews

          I could go on all day, but how am I doing so far?

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        • icon
          Jon Jones (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 1:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The last summer Olympics was pretty much 24/7 on the BBC. Most events in the top ten on BBC iPlayer. I would say it was pretty popular - as in millions just watching on iPlayer alone.

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        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 2:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Name one athlete who won a single gold medal in the Olympics in the last 5 years."

          That's a little on the silly side. I don't watch or follow the Olympics at all, but some of those athletes (Michael Phelps comes to mind) were omnipresent anyway.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 5:11pm

        Re: Re:

        "an obscure sport that no one watches"

        Like synchronized swimming? Or maybe horse dancing?


        "ou have a chance to become a household name AND make millions in endorsements for the rest of your life"

        Hahahaha - ya, right.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 4:34pm

      Re:

      Athletes are hostages in the scam. Tennis has never really pulled through as an Olympic Sport, Soccer is only a second-rate event and several other sports don't really buy the hype around Mount Olympos. So I would say that several significant international sports don't take it serious.

      Where it is taken serious would be in Rowing/Canoe/Kayak, Track Cycling, Shooting, Archery, Trampoline, Fencing etcetera, since those sports aren't as commonly followed. Now, if a few sports are removed, several sports are ready to enter or reenter the olympics, like Water Skiing, Roller sports, Dance Sports, Karate, Ultimate, Squash and so on are ready to take over.

      No, the best way to teach IOC is to make them return towards the days of old, in the 80's where exactly the price-tag and their process was what was close to ending the olympics...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 7:37pm

      Re:

      I think the athletes already know what a joke it is. They're semi-professionals on a regular circuit. The O------- is just one more stop, one that gets bizarrely more attention than the stop before and after.

      It's sort of like the "majors" in golf or tennis. Everyone plays pretty much every week, but some events have more cachet. They're all played by the same rules, but for some reason one tournament happens to mean more than the others. Because of that the prize money is better which means that everyone who can shows up.

      In the O------- they don't even get prize money, but the publicity that comes from being a medal winner is better than what you get from winning any other event. Maybe if Kazakhstan is the only place that will host it the credibility will change

      Remember what a big deal it used to be to host the World's Fair? New Orleans and Knoxville certainly do.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2014 @ 8:25am

        Re: Re:

        haha, world's fair, our ex baseball team (which should still be here if it wasn't of Jeffrey Loriah that lying scumbag)the Expos were named over Montreal's World Fair in '67, except it really meant something here, it put Montreal on the map a few years after the Vatican was kicked out of control of everything in society (including education) in 1960 only. State Catholicism, well Provincial Catholicism was well seen by the english minority who all live in the west side of Montreal as a means of control and keeping us ignorant.

        But even the '76 olympics in Mtl left behind a critically messed up building, our olympic stadium with its retractable roof (that only worked 13-14 years) was the new home of the Expos after the olympics. It's concept was great but money was cut short, and the wires from the tower where the controls are broken, so now it's skies are closed permanently, it really made baseball even more boring not to be able to be a game when it was sunny outside only to enter the echo filled toilet bowl looking cigarette taxes paid with (of course they didn't remove the tax once it was all paid for, in about the mid 2000's, it just pays for other stuff now)-- joke.

        If godzilla ever came to Montreal he'd take a dump on the olympic stadium that's for sure.

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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:31am

    Edit: Olympics as a committee, not a sporting event. Didn't want to confuse.

    Athletes should start a new "olympics"-type event, run wholly by athletes.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 2:29pm

      Re:

      A system where the athletes ("workers") run and manage the entire thing ("control the means of production")? Throw in some workplace democracy and THAT WOULD MAKE IT SOCIALIST /redscare

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:41am

    Sadly the idea behind the corruption is actually awesome and a lot of athletes really put their souls in it. And truth be said we cheer for those athletes and there are a lot of people who like it. And let's be honest it, most international entities (FIFA, FIA, IOC etc etc) are mostly nests of corrupt snakes.

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    • identicon
      Greg, 16 Aug 2016 @ 6:57pm

      Re:

      The fact that the Athletes put their heart and souls into it, only makes the corruption that much more heartbreaking. If people like it, then let it fund itself with ticket sales and broadcast deals, cut off access to public money.

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  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 8:32am

    It's about time

    I could never understand why anyone was willing to put up with hosting the Olympics. I'm cheered by an indication that nations might be waking up to what a monumental scam it is.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:15am

      Re: It's about time

      Yeah, and seeing the IOC called out so harshly by a more mainstream source (as much as I love TD, you can't deny that it's pretty niche and reactionary) is really encouraging as well.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 2:31pm

        Re: Re: It's about time

        Hey now, I'd argue that the 'Dirt is not reactionary and is actually quite forward-thinking in how it addresses various issues. Blame MSM for having its head up its arse

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2014 @ 8:37am

      Re: It's about time

      It went wonderfully in Vancouver in 2010 though and unlike most Olympics didn't put the city in massive debt. But I agree mostly (look at my previous post and what happened in Montreal).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 8:53am

    No mention of the US directly opposing the Olympics. Why do I get the feeling that they weren't allowed to bid?

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    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:37am

      Re:

      Why would the US not be allowed to bid? I don't know why.

      If I had to guess, maybe because the US is too corrupt even for the IOC?

      Or maybe because the US has too many other copyright maximalists that would be in conflict with the IOC over some imaginary rights?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      If I understand it correctly, the US Olympic Committee opted to not submit a bid for the 2022 Winter games because they would rather focus on trying to win the 2024 Summer games.

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  • identicon
    Magical Mimi, 3 Oct 2014 @ 8:53am

    To 'Fix' The IOC

    Put the TSA in charge of finding the corruption! Between the 'naked' scanners. full body cavity searches, forcing the IOC to not wear shoes, and the IOC having no legal recourse or ability to appeal, odds are the two organizations will go to war and they'll elimate each other!

    Then the world might truly be a better place.

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  • icon
    Sean Murphy (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 8:53am

    The Olympics are over - Now what?

    After a nation hosts the Olympics, the Olympic athletes, TV cameras, and fans leave. The country now has a huge, brand new stadium nobody wants to use, a few ski courses only highly skilled professionals can safely traverse, and all the debt incurred building these unwanted things. These things then proceed to rot.

    What a waste of money.

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    • icon
      Jon Jones (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:01am

      Re: The Olympics are over - Now what?

      It made a shit load of money for the UK.

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    • identicon
      PRMan, 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:46am

      Re: The Olympics are over - Now what?

      This is because of the stupid "Everything must be new" rules.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2014 @ 8:53am

      Re: The Olympics are over - Now what?

      Yep, ever heard of the (previously) awesome retractable Olympic Stadium in Montreal? The fact it broke and it wasn't possible anymore to open the skies when it was sunny killed our MLB team, they should have stayed at the Jarry Park after 76..

      But the place isn't useless now,it's where a lot of boxers train, some Montreal Alouettes CFL games are set to be played there due to the massive crowd one can have (65 000 seats), and yeah the CFL is actually popular in Canada, with enough people anyway, I find both kinds of Handeggs boring though. Canadian a little less so, since there's less useless defense players so it's more offensive.

      I still don't think encouraging us in Quebec to smoke more cigarettes than all other provinces (which was already happening, even our prime minister smoked, at work and on tv before that as a political analyst...the good old days heh, but the whole huge toilet bowl with a broken retractable ceiling (which is what made it so costly) took 30 years of us smoking cigarettes to pay for it (tax from cigs used to pay for it). It would be repairable, and if the Expos ever come back (and they will, F your DC Nationals), it's gonna be in a downtown stadium, for sure.

      Sorry, kinda miss our baseball team more than other years this year, especially since our last awesome players we produced recently retired (Vladimir Guerrero, Pedro Martinez). That '94 season, it was ours ugh....9 games ahead of the Braves too (to young people here, in the 90's the Yankees and Red Sox both sucked, Pittsburgh Pirates were better, the top teams in the National was Montreal Expos and Atlanta Braves (with their 5 all star starting pitchers..) and the Jays had just won 2 pennants in a row in the American where I think Indians, Giants and Rangers were the best teams (with Toronto, too, obviously).

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2014 @ 8:57am

        Re: Re: The Olympics are over - Now what?

        Forgot to add, tennis events happen there too and sometimes MLS games. It's a "sometimes" thing.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 8:54am

    I don't see why so many athletes make a career out of practicing to do well and win medals in the Olympics.

    It pays no money.

    The value of the medals also would make next to no money if you sold it compared to how much time and effort was put into getting it.

    Nor does experience preparing for or winning the Olympics give you the training you need to do a real job that gives you a weekly salary.

    Even if you do really well, no you won't be able to make a career out of being famous for winning a bunch of gold medals, everyone will forget about you in a few years. Most of the events/games aren't even aired on TV so how will you gain fame if no one watches you win?

    And even if you do strike it rich from winning a bunch of gold medals, the vast majority of professional athletes who made millions during their career go bankrupt within 5 years of their early retirement in their 20's or young 30's.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:09am

      Re:

      "I don't see why so many athletes make a career out of practicing to do well and win medals in the Olympics."

      It's not about the money. It's not about the career. It's not about the fame -- which is almost always fleeting anyway, and athletes know that.

      It's about the personal (or team) challenge of trying to be the best in the world...which is not so much about defeating one's opponents as it is about getting the best out of oneself. It's about the thousands of hours of training, the early mornings, the sore muscles, the injury setbacks, the pain, the lost relationships, the sacrifices, the endurance, the will, the drive, the ability to do it every day even when you want to stop.

      It's a journey of self-discovery.

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      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:14am

        Re: Re:

        "It's a journey of self-discovery"

        Good lord, from your description of why people become olympic athletes, I'm tempted to think that by "self-discovery" you actually meant "masochism" or "self-loathing."

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't think of it that way, but it's certainly true that all but a very few, very fortunate athletes have to overcome a lot of adversity. And in some sports (like mine) screwups in training or competition have consequences: I've ended my day in an ambulance twice because I made mistakes.

          But I was back the next day. Not out of masochism or self-loathing, but because I refused to give in to my own weaknesses. Instead I worked hard to overcome them, and the ensuing struggle made me a better person.

          I'm hardly alone in that. And that, more than the momentary glory of making it onto the podium, is what brings meaning and value to athletic competition. And unfortunately that has gotten completely buried by the IOC: if it's to be found in the Olympics, it's because the athletes brought it with them.

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          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I know what you were trying to say, but the way you said it sounds very much like masochism to me. All that suffering and loss in exchange for the knowledge that you overcame all that suffering and loss? Stated the way you did, my reaction is that there are much less destructive ways of engaging in powerful journeys of self-discovery, so the willingness (and even celebration) to suffer such losses is beyond what I can actually understand.

            Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying here: I'm not condemning the attitude at all. How could I when I don't get it?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 1:45pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Thank you for your honesty and openness. Admittedly, I'm not the best person to articulate the concepts I'm trying to express: others have done it FAR better, and I'll defer to them.

              I wouldn't trade the trip for anything, though: from winning championships to losing by .17 seconds, from days when I was "on" to days that were nothing but frustration, from the grind of endless training to the hours in physical therapy, it's all been worth it. I didn't really seek this out: I just sort of fell into it. But I'm glad I did: it's made me a better person and given me perspective I didn't have before. Now I'm passing that on to others, trying to instill in them the values I've learned: train hard, compete fairly, respect your competition, win graciously, lose graciously...then do it all again.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2014 @ 9:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              > my reaction is that there are much less destructive ways of engaging in powerful journeys of self-discovery

              Me too. There is still a lot of LSD in this country :D

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:16am

        Re: Re:

        Actually according to basically everything I've read about every Olympian athlete's village for the past several decades, it's all about getting shitloads of gymnast poon-tang.

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    • identicon
      David, 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:53am

      Re:

      Pride in their abilities and country. And product endorsements. Lots of money in product endorsements, promotional speaking, promotional events, etc. If you win medals, you become a marketable product.

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    • identicon
      PRMan, 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:47am

      Re:

      How sad that you can't see anything but money. Being the best in the world is a great reward for some.

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    • icon
      wereisjessicahyde (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 1:11pm

      Re:

      Perhaps they do it because it makes them happy? Not everything is about money.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 8:58am

    You will never find a more wretched hive of...

    You know the rest.

    I served on the board of directors of a national governing body -- NGB's are the organizations that oversee particular sports on a per-country basis, e.g., "US Skiing", "US Track and Field", and so on. This brought me into contact with some wonderful people -- brilliant athletes who were and are exemplary role models, hard-working, fair, honest, dedicated, everything that we could possibly hope that people representing us to the world could be.

    It also brought me into contact with the politics of the IOC. It's difficult to identify a more fundamentally greedy and corrupt organization (although ICANN comes to mind). It's so bad that I'm convinced one of the worst things to ever happen to my sport is its inclusion in the Olympics.

    Which is a pity, as I empathize with the athletes and -- having held an Olympic gold medal in my hands -- I understand the emotions behind the drive to win one. But that moment of individual triumph and gratification comes at the cost of embracing the IOC's hypocrisy, corruption, greed, and duplicity...and I'm not sure it's worth it.

    By the way, there's a "Washington DC 2024" organization -- despite the fact that this is an insanely stupid idea.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:00am

    I remember discussions going around the time of the Beijing Olympics that suggested that the Olympics are actually bad for tourism in the long term because of the perception that after the events are over people burn out on those locations as tourist destinations.

    If this is true it makes the Olympics actively damaging to the economy. Combined with the pressure that it puts on the locals to be more wealthy to stop embarrassing the nation (brazil), you have a nightmare for the people who will be forced from their homes to make way for stadiums that will be used for jack shit after the Olympics are gone.

    Small wonder they are unpopular.

    It is such a shame however because the idea behind a nonviolent destination for competition where even the poorest African countries can have some pride in their athlete who stomped the big boys from the US, Russia, and China.

    I really wish that the IOC will take this as a lesson to shape up because there is real potential here. And yes I will take the hopeful, maybe foolish, view here because I believe that the Olympics can be a force for good, as an outlet for cultures and countries that are suffering hardship to regain a modicum of pride in themselves. I believe the Olympics can be a meeting ground for people, not just governments, so we can see that cultures we are bombing are not really so different from us. Maybe some culture shock will do the ignorant fools of my country some good.

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    • icon
      Berenerd (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:30am

      Re:

      We need to go back to when the Olympics were first started. They were not so greedy then.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 1:32pm

      Re:

      If this is true it makes the Olympics actively damaging to the economy.

      It would be nice if instead of countries paying to host the Olympics, all the building and development were paid for by the IOC (from TV money) so the games might actually benefit the host country. Then the bids would be about the most suitable location, not about who's willing to spend the most money.

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  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:05am

    IOC - Plan B

    Threaten to sue any country that doesn't want to host under ISDS for more than the cost of hosting for the "lost profits"

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:09am

    it wouldn't bother me at all to see the olympics fold.  this world doesn't need it.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:12am

    see that cultures we are bombing are not really so different from us.

    i hadn't considered that.  why haven't we tried this previously?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:12am

    I don't know why anyone has bothered to host the Olympics since the cautionary tale "Akira" by Katsuhiro Otomo showed us all what horrors lurk beneath those fancy stadiums...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:13am

    The idea behind the Olympics is great. Competing nations in friendly games of sports in order to bring the nations closer together.
    It's unfortunate what it has turned into.

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  • icon
    limbodog (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:14am

    TBH

    I'd much rather see footage of the athletes practicing than the glorified commercial that the olympics has become. What the athletes do is amazing, pushing their prowess to the edge of human possibility. I'd love to see that play out in competition. I think it'd be amazing. And I'd even pay to attend such an event (if they money went to the athletes). I'm just not willing to wallow through the mire of hype, glitz, glam, commercialism, and brand-police to see it.

    I'd also rather just burn the money than pay to have it hosted in my city.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:18am

    What many people don't realize is that sports is like the Internet. What makes it valuable is when everyone participates. Partly why people like to watch sports is so that they can have something in common to talk about with anyone. When sports leagues try to make themselves into an exclusive club it lowers the value of the sport for everyone.

    For instance (while I'm not really into sports) my dad is into sports. In recent years many sports have stopped being broadcasted over the air anymore. Time Warner cable also buying exclusive rights to the Dodgers has prevented many (sports) bars from hosing them as well excluding many of my dad's friends from watching it. One of the few (if not the main) reason my dad gets cable is because he likes to watch sports. He watches it so that he can talk about it with his friends. However now that his friends are no longer talking about the Dodgers my dad has lost a lot of interest because when he's with his friends the subject is now something else. Many of his friends don't have cable and now they can't watch it at the sports bars they visit and so they have no reason to talk about it. The sports leagues, by trying to turn themselves into an exclusive club, are essentially shooting themselves in the foot.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:20am

      Re:

      Please explain to me how you think this is relevant to the Olympics and how corrupt the IOC has become?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:42am

        Re: Re:

        Are you stupid? It's relevant to sports. The Olympics are trying to do the same thing, turn themselves into an exclusive club, and just like with other sports leagues, it only hurts them in the long run.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Are you incapable of answering a question without showing your ignorance with petty insults? The IOC is not trying to turn themselves into an exclusive club, they let pretty much everyone (including nationless free agents) participate in the sports themselves, and the issues that they cause are due to their own organizational deficiencies and corruption and not anything to do with exclusivity (outside of their vicious protectionism of the word "Olympics" and their trademark logo). It has nothing at all to do with sports blackouts and you'd have to be quite the subnormal to conflate the two issues at all, goatfucker.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Are you incapable of answering a question without showing your ignorance with petty insults?"

            If you can't see the connection then you are an idiot and deserved to be called out on it.

            "Then the country held a vote earlier this year and 55.9 percent of Norwegians opposed."

            "Previous finalist Krakow, Poland, saw 70 percent voter opposition and pulled its application"

            The Olympics are doing everything they can to alienate their viewers and make them disinterested which exactly what TWC is doing as well. Doing so is not a good idea.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Are you incapable of answering a question without showing your ignorance with petty insults?"

            Your question isn't a serious question. What I posted is relevant to the Olympics because it shows another arena where sports leagues are hurting themselves for various reasons that have to do with their overaggressive attempts to control everything, to overcharge everyone, to ask for very one sided terms and conditions, and to be as exclusive as possible.

            "and the issues that they cause are due to their own organizational deficiencies and corruption and not anything to do with exclusivity"

            Sure it does. From the OP

            "the Olympics requires countries to pass special laws that protect its trademarks and copyrights beyond what standard laws allow."

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:36am

      Re:

      In fact here is an interesting article discussing this and how this has been a giant failure to everyone involved.

      "only about 30% of the homes in Los Angeles are able to see the Dodger games on television, leaving 70% of us in the dark. "

      and while we happen to have TWC, like I said, my dad lost a lot of interest because many of his friends don't and so now there is less point in watching it because his friends don't talk about it as much. So to those 30% that do have it the value just went down (not up).

      Heck, TWC and the Dodgers would be better off if people pirated it but most people figure it's not worth the hassle which is bad for TWC and the Dodgers. When the value is so low that it's not even worth pirating then that should tell you something.

      "Time Warner Cable wanted to buy at that exorbitant price to control the market while mistakenly thinking it could offset the huge price tag by selling the rights at inflated prices to the other distributors, who would in turn pass price increases to all of their subscribers, not just to those who watch Dodger baseball."

      ...

      "The other distributors balked ... And so Time Warner Cable is on the hook for $8.35 billion and the Dodgers have a image crises. "


      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gene-del-vecchio/the-dodgers-time-warner-c_b_5428136.html

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2014 @ 9:33am

        Re: Re:

        The NHL fucked up big time last year, with their 20(25 years?) contract with NBC...it doesn't mean much for Canadian teams, or so one would think. We used to only need to have RDS at home to see all 82 games (+playoffs) of the Montreal Canadiens, now that the previous contract ended, what happened here is that Quebecor's (the surprisingly seperatist but huge monopoly-loving company) created an offshoot of a generalist TV station and made a sports channel from it. TVA now has TVA-Sports and you're fucked if you don't subscribe to it, you'll miss 1/3 of all games, which will turn into 1/2 of all games.

        TVA-Sports has been around since about 3 years, people were wondering why we needed another french speaking sports channel, there wasn't much shown there that wasn't on RDS (the french TSN).

        I can't believe Toronto Leafs fans (lol, the poor poor fools) have to deal with not having all 82 games (they rarely make playoffs) on TSN + CBC. Yeah, the CBC no longer broadcasts hockey games. Stephen Harper was right when he said that when he was done Canada would be unrecognizable (aka destroyed culture, environment and minorities and poor people while at it). ER's will become shitty again soon, sure, Health is a provincial issue but the Liberals in 2004 put into law a 10 year massive (billions) additional fund to modernize hospitals in all provinces, about 33% of the job is done and nope, Harper won't renew this commitment.

        Sorry about the political tangent, but our country is the one being hurt the most by neoconism, yes, even more than the USA. Your bill of rights in theory is better than our charter of rights and freedoms. I just laugh it off as I look look our HDI go from #1 in the world in 2004 drop every year since the Conservatards got in in 2006 (even as a minority government).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      DogBreath, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      The sports leagues, by trying to turn themselves into an exclusive club, are essentially shooting themselves in the foot.

      I'm certain "in the foot" should be "in the ass", as that is where their brains are, because that is the current location of their heads.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Country, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:30am

    I hosted the Olympics once. The athletes were cool, but the IOC racked up a HUGE phone bill and left dirty dishes in the sink.

    Never again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:37am

    considering it is public money that gets used to do all things that enable a country to host the games, but the profits, if any , seem to be shared between the government and a elite, select few companies, but nothing ever reaching the public coffers, i dont blame any country for backing out and even less for not applying. add in the mentioned disgraceful way the 'Olympics Committee' behave, the best thing would be to close it down! the UK were stupid enough to host the last summer Olympics, in a climate when every penny counted, they spent a fortune which has never been recouped. that money could have gone towards their national debt

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DogBreath, 3 Oct 2014 @ 9:38am

    Give the IOC the old "Undiscovered Country" treatment

    Time to give the IOC the "James Tibirus Kirk" ultimatum.


    And bravo to all the countries who have finally done this to the IOC.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ahow628 (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:13am

    insert tasteless comment here

    insert tasteless joke about the IOC and the Special Olympics here

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ruben, 3 Oct 2014 @ 12:28pm

      Re: insert tasteless comment here

      I'm not sure what's worse: that you thought this was worth posting, or that you weren't even creative enough to come up with the tasteless joke you referenced.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Daemon_ZOGG, 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:23am

    "..The Olympics, Because It's A Costly, Corrupt Mess"

    I hate the olympics commitee. I stopped watching the olympics over 10 years ago because of their stupid crap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    zip, 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:34am

    Age of Olympic Boycotts

    During the Age of Olympic Boycotts, there was talk about holding the games in the same place each time, in a neutral country that everyone could agree on. The Death of the Soviet Union effectively killed that idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:41am

    The Olympics is too costly and not worth the money. I'd be pissed if it was hosted in my country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:43am

    Didn't the Olympics facter into the fall of Greece?

    Tragic irony or ironic tragedy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:51am

    The real problem of the Olympics isn't the over promise of the IOC, rather it's the over reach of the host cities.

    The Olympics lasts a few weeks. In order to get the games, they need a certain number of facilities. Generally, countries see the games as an excuse to go on a massive spending spree to improve their sports facilities and transportation networks. Sadly, they are often building stadiums nobody wants, housing ill equipped for the local population, and transportation networks to and from places nobody normally wants to go outside of the games.

    It doesn't help the IOC at this point that the last few Olympics have been financial fiascoes on an extreme scale: Russia reportedly overspent by nearly 50 billion for the winter games, Beijing more than 40 billion over budget for the summer games. These massive overspenders have set the bar high, and nobody seems able to hit it.

    We won't even talk about the disaster that is Greece.

    The real ongoing issue is that Olympics seemingly cannot happen in existing facilities. It seems to require all new, all modern, all perfect things built for the ages and used for the weeks. In these tougher financial times, only communist (and near communist) nations appear to have the money and desire to get into these things. Even the oil rich countries of the middle East are smart enough not to get dragged into the mess.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jameshogg (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 11:52am

      Re:

      I thought China and Russia were two of the most piracy prone countries on the planet? Yet they seem to have hosted Summer and Winter Olympics respectively.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 6:18pm

        Re: Re:

        Shhhh. Don't disturb Whatever's dream of the piracy bogeyman.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 4 Oct 2014 @ 6:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Not sure where you are going with it. Hosting the Olympics isn't related to piracy, at least not directly. It seems however it does take country with no real requirement to balance the books to do it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 10:55am

    The IOC will always have friends

    There is The Dear Leader.

    (and no, I do not mean Tim Cook)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2014 @ 1:09pm

    IOC demands ...

    Here an article on the non-venue demands made by the IOC.

    One wonders in what manner the remaining candidates will meet these demands.

    Most entertaining is the IOC statement when Norway dropped out on it's own.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Call me Al, 3 Oct 2014 @ 1:14pm

    Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics are quite different

    I've got to say I think this article is ignoring the fact this is about the Winter Olympics, which is really the Summer Olympics' retarded younger brother and people just aren't as interested in it. I can pretty much guarantee that if the UK thought it could hold the Summer Games again in the not too distant future then many of us would cheer for it. 2012 was great.

    Also because of the requirements (i.e. mountains) a lot of places just can't hold it so automatically you have a smaller selection of countries which can host it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 3 Oct 2014 @ 1:44pm

      Re: Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics are quite different

      This is true, but the trend is there. How much interest will there be in hosting the 2024 and 2028 summer games? That will depend on how well 2016 and 2020 go. Should be interesting. I would love to see the IOC throw an Olympics and nobody show up. Maybe they would reevaluate some things.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 4 Oct 2014 @ 4:28pm

      Re: Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics are quite different

      Personally I find the Winter Olympics far more interesting to watch. It may have something to do with the fact that, unlike any the Summer games, many of these events involve crazy speeds and the real risk of serious injury or worse...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2014 @ 2:46am

    basically the only two countries interested are authoritarian regimes:

    Dont forget the the last one to host it

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2014 @ 11:47pm

    I really like the conditions on which Oslo would get the games: a banquet at the Palace on King's expense. Oh, boy, they ARE bold.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nubwaxer, 5 Oct 2014 @ 10:43am

    olympics

    los angeles made a profit from the olympics in 1984.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 7:31am

      Re: olympics

      This is true -- and notable, because those games are held up as unusual precisely because they were profitable. Do you know how they achieved the profitability?

      Unlike pretty much every Olympics that came before and after, those games were privately funded, so the city didn't incur much of the insane costs of hosting them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Noo, 5 Oct 2014 @ 8:40pm

    China will pull its bid too

    China wants to be a much more active world player. They will not want to look foolish.

    Or they could put it on, tell the IOC to f*ck off once it is there, and keep all the profits.

    Maybe they could charge a fee for each camera in their facilities and allow networks to pay by the pixel.
    Everyone could watch the olympics in standard definition in compressed formats.

    They wouldn't look like fools then.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Niall (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 2:49am

    Provincialism

    There does seem to be a bit of US-provincialism in the replies here.

    There are two points of note. One, the article doesn't make clear that this is the Winter Olympics, which isn't as popular as the Summer Olympics.

    Secondly, the Summer Olympics is still considered the World-class 'gold standard' of sport, precisely because it is against all the world gymnasts - it is not like you 'World Series' from one country! With proper planning (i.e. learning from Greece) it can actually work quite well.

    The UK just hosted an extremely successful Summer Olympics. We planned infrastructure improvements so that we didn't have white elephants (we had enough of those from the Millenium), we had very good tourism for it, and more importantly, we pumped a lot of money into sports - which meant that not only did we have an incredible medal haul, but we have had incredible medal hauls in all major sports events since then, especially the Glasgow-hosted Commonwealth Games this year. Plus, it provided a much-needed public morale booster - with some help from Mitt Romney, whose dumb comments about it was going to be a bit of a disaster helped make the country pull together.

    So the Summer Olympics can work for a host country, if done right and having infrastructure in place. True, we need to see how the London legacy works out, and how it works for Brazil in 2016.

    That doesn't stop it being one of the most corrupt and broken processes on the planet (Qatar 2020 anyone?) and badly in need of reform, but as a world stage for athletes it has no comparison.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 6 Oct 2014 @ 7:33am

      Re: Provincialism

      Umm, what does any of that have to do with US provincialism? Further, what does the amount of medals won have to do with this issue?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nothereeither, 6 Oct 2014 @ 6:31pm

    don't worry

    i will bet that the progressive left here in this country (USA) will not let this crisis go to waste.. if no one else in the world will do this.. just wait.. the USA will step up and waste billions of dollars!! no problem. Obumma if he was in office, would probably break his wrist trying to pull the good 'ol country credit card out of his wallet to pay for it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    brian, 6 Oct 2014 @ 9:55pm

    more US propaganda how much say do americans have?

    'Plenty of other countries didn't even bother thinking about it. As Wetzel points out, basically the only two countries interested are authoritarian regimes:
    Essentially the only places interested in hosting the 2022 games are countries where actual citizens aren't allowed a real say in things – communist China and Kazakhstan, a presidential republic that coincidentally has only had one president since it split from the old USSR in 1989.;'

    more US anticommunist rubbish...how much say to europeans or americans have in their regimes political decisions? who miliarily occupies a multitude of states and doesny ask its citizens of they should?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    brian, 6 Oct 2014 @ 10:13pm

    authoritian regimes how many has US made?

    china and kazakhstan are free societies not ruled by the US, which is why Wetzel grumbles:

    meanwhile, lets see what US does with unfortunate countries around the globe: take free peoples and turns their lands into authoritarian regimes

    U.S. State Department Policy Planning Study #23, 1948:

    US Friendly Dictators:
    'Our real task... is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity [U.S. military- economic supremacy]... To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming... We should cease to talk about vague and...unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization... we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better. George Kennan, Director of Policy Planning. U.S. State Department. 1948

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2844.htm

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    brian, 6 Oct 2014 @ 10:30pm

    noone wants to host the olympics? or does noone have the money?

    why do so many countries still vie for summer olympics?
    winter olympics need snow...

    here is what the issue is:

    even thos CBS likes to bash russia, adn stike fear in people it admits:
    'Many cities in Western Europe have been scared off by the $51 billion price tag associated with the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. While most of that money went to long-term regeneration projects, not the cost of running the games, cities remain wary of the expense.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/2022-winter-olympics-only-two-cities-left-vying-to-host-games/

    so its about fear of expense...and maybe revolution by the masses.
    FYI russian winter olympics cost about @5 billion...anything else is US propaganda

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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