Exclusive: IOC cancellation insurance costs soar

Monday, 07 October 2013
By David Owen

London 2012 opening ceremonyOctober 7 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) spent more than three times as much on insuring the London 2012 Olympics against cancellation as it did on insuring the previous Summer Games in Beijing in 2008.

The IOC's recently-published final report covering the 2009-12 Olympic quadrennium notes that an insurance premium of $13.46 million (£8.38 million/€9.91 million) was paid for "Games cancellation" in 2012.

The equivalent figure for 2008 was just $4.2 million (£2.6 million/€3.1 million).

Questioned by insidethegames, the IOC attributed the hike not to skyrocketing insurance rates or mounting concerns over terrorist attacks, but to its decision to purchase more extensive insurance cover.

In 2008, it explained, the policy it took out would have paid $315 million (£196 million/€232 million) in compensation for broadcasting rights fees it would not have received had the Games been cancelled.

Beijing 2008 was much cheaper to insure than London 2012Beijing 2008 was much cheaper to insure than London 2012

This figure would have totalled $800 million (£498 million/€589 million) had London 2012 been called off.

Broadcasting rights received by the IOC in the 2009-12 Olympic cycle were sharply higher than in 2005-08 at $3.85 billion (£2.53 billion/€2.93 billion).

Asked about Rio 2016, the IOC said that its insurance premium had already been agreed.

"As the insured amount has not changed, the premium will be close to the one we had in London," it added.

As revealed in Buenos Aires last month, the IOC now expects the total raised from broadcasting rights for the 2014-16 quadrennium to exceed $4.1 billion (£2.6 billion/€3.1 billion).

The rate of growth, however, is set to slow markedly.

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