Ted Turner confirmed Wednesday that his company is talking with NBC about acquiring rights to portions of the Summer Olympics that the network does not plan to broadcast itself.
"We are having some discussions, as has been reported," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen. . . . We are having ongoing discussions. That's all I can say."
Turner did not make clear where his Turner Broadcasting System would run such programming if NBC agrees to give up a portion of the U.S. television rights, for which it paid $300 million.
There has been speculation that he wants the Olympic segments to help launch his new cable network, Turner Network Television, which is scheduled to begin service Oct. 3--the day after the Summer Games in Seoul, Korea end.
But he could also run the Olympic spillover on his Atlanta Superstation TBS, which already carries some sports programming.
Turner's comments came during an appearance at a luncheon sponsored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, where he sought to publicize and seek advertising support for his the new cable venture.
A spokesman for NBC Sports said later, "We're talking. But at this point, it's just talk." NBC plans to televise 179 1/2 hours of Olympic coverage from Sept. 17 to Oct. 2.