Rogge outlines "very good health" of IOC

Rogge outlines "very good health" of IOCCopenhagen  - The International Olympic Committee is in "very good health" despite the global economic slide and is taking measures to further maximise its revenue, IOC president Jacques Rogge said on Wednesday.

However, it remains unclear whether the Olympians will be able to match record income they are generating for the 2010 and 2012 Games in Vancouver and London, respectively.

Rogge told the IOC Session that the TOP programme for exclusive Olympic sponsors 2009-2012 will bring in 883 million dollars (up from 866 million 2005-2008) and television income for the same period is 3.8 billion dollars (2.6 billion for 2006 and 2008 Games).

Sales for the 2013-2016 period are underway, with Rogge saying that 563 million dollars are already assured from the TOP programme, with "more in the pipeline."

TV rights worth 920 million euros have been sold, but still outstanding are major European countries like Germany and the US market which provides the biggest share.

However, NBC officials have already said that they will unlikely match the 1.2 billion dollars for the previous rights, given the current economic climate.

The IOC has delayed the sale of the US rights to better economic times, but Rogge said that greater distribution (the European rights for instance went to the European Broadcasting Union in the past, now they are done by country) and new areas like mobile phones and internet are to maximise income.

Rogge said that IOC assets have more than quadrupled from 105 million dollars when he took office in 2001 to 455 million dollars by the end of August.

As a result of the rising figures, the IOC has been able to distribute more money to its partners such as sports federations and national Olympic committees.

Rogge also reiterated that "contracts with the USOC are no longer the realities of today" and will undergo revision.

The American Olympic Committee currently get 12.75 per cent from the sponsorship programme and 20 per cent from US TV rights, more than all other NOCs together. The USOC agreed earlier this year to review the deal by 2013 and to set up a new format with the IOC from 2020 onwards.

Speaking on general terms in his Session-opening address, Rogge stressed the importance of the fight against doping, the programme of good governance and sports autonomy and to resist over-complex Olympic Games.

"We owe it to the athletes to stage amazing Games. We must preserve this dream," Rogge said.

The IOC Session runs until Friday. Rogge seeks re-election for a final four-year term on Friday while golf and rugby sevens hope for entrance into the 2016 Olympic programme.

The Olympians will also hear progress reports from upcoming Olympic hosts such as London and Sochi and six new members aim to be elected into the IOC. (dpa)