The IOC and NBCUniversal may have to renegotiate how much the broadcaster pays for rights to show the rearranged Tokyo 2020 Games in the US ©Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) faces the prospect of having to reopen negotiations with NBCUniversal over the amount the broadcaster will ultimately pay for United States rights to Tokyo 2020 under one of the Movement’s most important commercial contracts.

A note in the newly-published financial statements of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) explains that the one-year postponement of the Games has triggered a "Right of Abatement" clause in the agreement.

This is said to stipulate that "NBC and the IOC shall negotiate in good faith an equitable reduction in the applicable broadcast rights payments."

If the Games pass off as per normal in their new time-slot, it seems possible that any reduction to the $1.418 billion (£1.08 billion/€1.2 billion) fee reported to have been agreed in 2011 might be relatively small: the IOC and NBC are, after all, old partners, with NBC set to continue broadcasting the Olympics in the US until at least 2032.

Under present extraordinary circumstances, however, this cannot be guaranteed.

The negotiations, moreover, would not occur until "after completion of the Games in 2021."

This might give rise to concerns over possible delays to the timeframe under which money is subsequently redistributed to International Federations (IFs) whose sports form part of the Games.

The note in the USOPC accounts also reveals that the postponement of Tokyo 2020 triggered a "Termination Rights clause" in the NBC agreement under which the broadcaster could have opted to terminate the contract within ten days.

In the event, NBC elected not to do this.

The postponement of Tokyo 2020 has triggered a Right of Abatement clause in an agreement between NBC and the IOC ©Getty Images
The postponement of Tokyo 2020 has triggered a Right of Abatement clause in an agreement between NBC and the IOC ©Getty Images

The 2011 deal attributed NBC with the US rights to broadcast the four editions of the Games between Sochi 2014 and Tokyo for a total price of $4.38 billion (£3.3 billion/€3.6 billion)

The USOPC indicates that its agreement with NBC for this period calls for it to be paid a total of just under $558.6 million (£427 million/€474 million).

The broadcaster subsequently agreed a $7.65 billion (£5.8 billion/€6.50 billion) deal for US rights all the way through until 2032, in one of the most important commercial agreements in the IOC’s history.

Of this, 12.75 per cent, subject to adjustments, is to be paid directly to the USOPC.

The IOC is known to have cancellation insurance relating to Tokyo, although detailed terms have not been disclosed in public.

The note in the new USOPC accounts also states that the US body is negotiating with "multiple current sponsors" as well as "various vendors in Tokyo" to "accommodate" the postponement of the Games.

A consolidated statement of activities put total support and revenue for the USOPC over the 2019 calendar year at $205.2 million (£156 million/€174.4 million).

Total expenses were put at $244 million (£186 million/€207 million).

A Form 990 for organisations exempt from income tax, put the amount of reportable compensation paid to chief executive Sarah Hirshland at $785,716 (£600,947/€668,041).