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Rogers withdraws from consortium bidding for Olympic broadcast rights

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Rogers today announced it will not pursue a bid for the Canadian broadcast rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games as part of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium.

“We had an option and chose not to exercise it.” said Rogers Media President Keith Pelley.

Established in 2007, the consortium was a joint venture set up by Bell Media and Rogers Media to produce the Canadian broadcasts of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Bell currently owns 80% of the joint venture while Rogers owns 20%.

The consortium encompasses many of the properties owned by both companies, including Bell Media's CTV Television Network, The Sports Network, Réseau des Sports and Réseau Info-Sports, and Rogers Media's Omni Television, Rogers Sportsnet, OLN, and the Rogers radio stations group.

In a written statement, Pelley cited "scheduling conflicts" and the need to focus on "financial priorities" as reasons for dropping out of the consortiums bid.

Mr. Pelley did not elaborate on what the scheduling conflicts or what the financial reasons were for dropping out. Rogers earned adjusted operating profits of $4.7 billion in 2010.

Rogers says the decision does not affect Rogers Media’s participation in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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