Olympics may be postponed but not cancelled

It has so far generated record domestic sponsorship revenues of over $3 billion

MUMBAI: The ambiguity revolving around Olympics 2020 has been put to rest by the organisers, making it clear that the once-in-four-year a sporting event won’t be cancelled but may get postponed to a later date amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.   

According to media reports, Tokyo Olympics 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori on Monday said that organisers would consider postponement as one of many scenarios that they aim to have ready in four weeks, but that the games would not be cancelled.

Mori also told during a news conference that a team of people from among the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo organisers would discuss how to proceed with the games.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 is scheduled to begin from 24 July to 9 August 2020.

Mori’s comment on Olympics 2020 has come on the back of Canada’s decision to not to send its athletes to Tokyo unless the event is postponed by one year due to coronavirus pandemic. Similarly, the Australian contingent is preparing for the postponement of the event.

Moreover, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe during these testing times is also of an opinion to postpone the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Abe had said, “Olympics could be postponed if it could not be held in its ‘complete form’ because of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The postponement of the world’s biggest event may hit Japan’s economy, sponsors, advertisers and organisers massively. It is expected that the game will cost around $12 billion. Olympics budget is split between the organisers, local and national governments. IOC is likely to contribute over $800 million.

At present, this edition of Olympics has so far generated record domestic sponsorship revenues of over $3 billion. The top sponsors, who already have come onboard are Toyota, Bridgestone, Panasonic and South Korea’s Samsung in separate deals with IOC.

According to Variety, Comcast has agreed to pay over $4.3 billion for US media rights to broadcast Olympics from 2014 to 2020. Moreover, Discovery Communications, the parent of television channel Eurosport has agreed to pay $1.4 billion to screen Olympics from 2018 to 2024 across Europe.

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