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NBC expected to announce Olympics deal

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It looks the Olympic flame will continue to burn on NBC through 2020.

The network, which has been the U.S. home for the Winter and Summer Olympics for more than a decade, is expected to announce later Tuesday a new pact with the International Olympic Committee that will keep the Olympics on its broadcast and cable channels into the next decade.

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NBC, which was acquired by cable giant Comcast Corp., had to fight off tough competition from Walt Disney Co., parent of ABC and ESPN, as well as Fox parent News Corp. to hold onto the games.

While there has been no official announcement yet, Fox issued a statement saying it had been told that NBC won. The Associated Press is reporting that the deal is in the neighborhood of $4 billion. One insider said the price tag is north of $4.2 billion.

Comcast brass had indicated that the they were concerned about high-priced sports events. NBC lost $233 million on the 2010 games and will likely lose money on the 2012 Summer games in London.

However, the games also provide a platform for the network to promote itself and Comcast can use the games to increase the presence of its own sports channels including Versus.

-- Joe Flint

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