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NBC’s $4.38 billion knockout punch

There’s an old maxim in boxing. If you want to beat the champ, you have to knock him out.

That’s pretty much the way it was always going to play out when it came to the contest for the U.S. broadcast rights for the coming editions of the Olympic Games, which the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday awarded to NBC — a $4.38 billion deal that stretches through the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 Games.

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Fun at the ol’ USOC

The U.S. Olympic Committee’s two-day board of directors meeting in Atlanta wrapped up Tuesday, and what was notable was not that it produced any big news — none was expected — but that it was, as new board member Dave Ogrean put it, well, “fun.”

“Fun” is not a word that has not often in recent years been associated with USOC precincts.

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A most excellent first year

The U.S. Olympic Committee’s announcement Tuesday of the addition of five genuinely impressive new directors to its board caps a remarkable year.

All five would seem to be incredibly constructive additions. They promise to bring not only breadth, depth, institutional experience and even ingenuity to the board. The newcomers include the likes of Robbie Bach, the former president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, as well as Dave Ogrean, who over 30 years has seemingly seen and done it all in American Olympic circles and is now executive director of USA Hockey.

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USOC: ‘an exciting new time’

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — After Larry Probst and Scott Blackmun had given first-rate speeches to the hundreds gathered here at the Antlers Hilton hotel for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s annual assembly, the two senior USOC officials, with a gaggle of reporters in tow, found a small room just off the big ballroom for an impromptu news conference.

This was the Jackson Room, named not for the seventh president but for a 19th-century Colorado photographer. A big wooden table dominated Mr. William Jackson’s room. Blackmun took one of the blue chairs on one side of the table, Probst the chair right next to him.