By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
September 9 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) have reached agreement on a significant financial contribution from the USOC to resolve the Games' costs issue, it was announced today.
A deal was hammered out between the two sides during the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore last month, where the IOC and USOC also agreed to establish a process to accelerate talks on the outstanding issue of revenue sharing.
The agreement followed discussions in Denver last year and at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games this February.
The IOC and USOC delegations have pledged to continue working in a constructive manner and in a spirit of good faith and cooperation to resolve the issue once and for all.
USOC chairman Larry Probst said: "I am pleased that our relationship has progressed to the point where we can begin to make significant headway on a number of issues that have been a point of contention between the USOC and the IOC.
"This agreement demonstrates that when people work together constructively to develop innovative solutions to challenging problems, the future of the Olympic Movement will benefit."
The deal is expected to help solve many of the problems the USOC and IOC are having on their long-standing dispute over revenue splits.
The USOC money will help pay toward the administrative costs of putting on the Olympics.
The administrative-costs issue is part of a bigger agreement between the parties to begin negotiations in 2013 on a new revenue-sharing formula to go into effect in 2020.
The USOC currently receives s a 20 per cent share of global sponsorship revenue and a 12.75 per cent share of US broadcast rights deals.
Many international officials think it is too big a portion.
There was also a row last year over USOC plans to set-up their own Olympic television network, which IOC officials feared would jeopardise their own negotiations for a new TV contract in the US.
Scott Blackmun, the chief executive of the USOC, has made it a priority for him to re-establish the United States' international reputation within the Olympic Movement following the damaging row which last year contributed to Chicago's humiliating failure to win its bid to host the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
He said: "I am very pleased that we can put the issue of Games' costs behind us for the time being so that we can pursue a broader discussion.
"That discussion will be difficult and complicated, but we will be aided by the fact that we can have a constructive dialogue, and that would not have been possible just a few months ago."
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