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Rogge says Games financial future secure

Written by: Staff
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SEOUL, April 7 (Reuters) The financial future of the Olympic Games is secure due to a sharp rise in TV and marketing revenues and an increase in spectators, International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge said today.

Rogge, speaking at the end of the IOC's executive board meeting in the South Korean capital of Seoul, said the broadcasting rights package for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and London 2012 Summer Olympics alone would increase by more than 700 million dollars from the 2006-2008 Games package.

The total figure is estimated at 3.3 billion dollars.

''The financial prospects are very good. The financial future of the Olympic movement is secured,'' Rogge told reporters.

But he said the revenue stream could only be sustained if future Games were successful.

''This is virtual money. The revenue will come only if the Games are successfully held.'' The IOC also expects an increase in its top sponsors programme for 2010-2012, while TV figures for this year's 2006 Winter Olympics were up by 20 percent compared with the 2002 Games.

Rogge said the IOC was pushing ahead with an Olympic programme revision and was implementing changes to the Games to rein in mounting costs and streamline operations.

''We always knew that the work on the Olympic programme would be emotional and would take time. But now everyone agrees a review is needed.'' SIMPLE MAJORITY Rogge said international sports federations and national Olympic committees had agreed it was necessary to review the programme to keep up with the times.

He said the only way a sport could make the Games programme was to be successful.

Among the changes to be voted on during next year's IOC session is the way sports are voted into the programme.

Until now a sport needed a two-thirds majority by IOC members to be included in the Games while only a simple majority was enough to be voted off.

Rogge said the 2007 session would decide on a simple majority vote for both cases.

Baseball and softball became the first sports to be dumped from the programme last year since polo was excluded in 1936.

He also said 90 percent of a 117-point programme aimed at reducing the size of the Olympics would be implemented at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. London would have adopted all the changes in its organising structure, he said.

REUTERS DH DS1220

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