The National Broadcasting Co. is ready to assure Congress that it has made no "propaganda deals" with the Soviets and will not leave $25 million in equipment behind after the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.
M.S. Rukeyser Jr., NBC vice president for public information, says the network will stick to a statement issued previously about the $85 million contract when it testifies at a hearing by the House Subcommittee on Communications, which is looking into the relationship between the three major networks and professional and armateur sports.
Copies of related contracts and similar documents will be offered to the subcommittee to substatiate the statement.
Under terms of the agreement with the Soviet Union, NBC says the host country will receive a total of $72,366,667. That figure includes $22,366,667 for U.S. broadcast rights and $50 million for the supply of production facilities.
NBC also will pay the International Olympic Committee $12,633,333 for the U.S. broadcast rights, which, added to the money going to the Soviets, accounts for the $85 million outlay by the network.
As a comparison, the American Broadcasting Co. says it paid a total of $23 million to telecast the Olympic Games from Montreal last year.
The NBC statement notes that payments to the Soviet Union were to begin in 1977 and continue through 1980, but George Hoove, BBC vice president for press and publicity, refused to say how much has been paid so far.
At the time that all three U.S. networks were negotiating to carry the telecasts on a pool basis, the Soviets were stipulating that 40 per cent of the $50 million for technical services be paid in 1977 and the remainder in 1978.
Inas much as the network already will have made most of the payments to the Soviet Union before the Olympics begin, what recourse will NBC have if there is a cancelation of the games or some of its events because, say, of some political problem?
The NBC statement says, "Any disputes which may arise under the agreement are to be arbitrated before the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in accordance with procedures established in January, 1977, by the U.S.S.R. Trade Office and the American Arbitration Association.
What if broadcast time should be interrupted be countires withdrawing or being barred? Hoover was asked.
"We will report that," Hoover said, predicting the network will tolerate no censorship.
The network statement points out: "In addition to payments by NBC under these agreement. NBC will have its own costs for talent, transportation and housing, satellite feeds, network production teams and additional manpower and equipment. These costs are projected at $12 to 15 million."
That estimate, Hoover admitted, along with the $85 million paid for broadcasting rights, the $1 million intermediary fee plus advisory fees for four years to West German Lothar Bock, and the extra costs in agreeing to buy 12 entertainment programs from the Soviet Union will run the total amount to well over $100 million.
Including about $7 million for its talent, transportation and housing, satellite feeds, network production teams and additional manpower and equipment, ABC says its total cost telecasting the Olympics from Montreal were about $30 million.
Asked if the NBC costs do not seem excessive in light of what ABC paid, Hoover said, "It is not excessive if the bidding is competitive, and it was, by all three networks. We thought we had a deal at $80 million, but ABC bid $83 million and we matched it. Is it excessive? No."
The formal statement says, "With the record 150 hours of planned coverage, NBC expects to make a profit." Hoover says there already is "considerable interest" by potential sponosors.
Jim Spence, vice president of program planning for ABC Sports, said, "We never would have agreed to buying the additional (entertainment) programs as NBC did." Spence asserted that the main reasons for the escalation in costs were "the great job ABC did at Innsbruck and Montreal" and the fact that in negotiations for Moscow "the Russians played the capitalistic game."