AUGUST 4 - GENERAL ELECTRIC, a leading Olympic sponsor, have today dismissed investors calls for them to sell off NBC Universal, the United States broadcasters for the 2012 Games, after Beijing.


There had been speculation that chief executive Jeff Immelt would consider selling NBC after the Olympics because it is growing more slowly than the rest of GE's businesses.


But NBC broadcasting the Games is being credited with helping GE double its China annual revenue to $10 billion  (£5.07 billion) by 2010.


Beth Comstock, GE's chief marketing officer, revealed GE has generated $1.7 billion (£863 million) of total revenues from Olympics-related business, of which $1 billion (£507 million) is from advertisements for NBC and $700 million (£355 million) from other GE divisions, she said.


NBC, who paid a record $896 million  (£455 million) for the rights to broadcast the Olympics through to 2012, are planning to show 3,600 hours of television coverage from Beijing across a variety of media platforms.


A small army of 2,900 will be working for NBC in Beijing and the company has taken out an insurance policy worth $1 billion (£507 million) in case their coverage is interrupted.


Comstock's predecessor, Daniel Henson, had said in July 2007 that GE expected $500-$600 million (£253-£304 million) worth of revenue from the Olympics.


Comstock estimated that GE generated $150 million (£76 million) of the extra business by dangling the Beijing Games as an incentive for its sales teams.


As one of the International Olympic Committee's TOP sponsors, GE spent "a little over "$100 million  (£50 million) for a six-year contract with the organisation, starting with the Turin Winter Games in 2006, Comstock said.


She said: "What the Olympics has allowed us to do as a company is to get much better selling across businesses and packaging.


"The Olympics was a good opportunity for us to learn how to cross-sell better."