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00:00:02
>> A Russian doping scandal, corruption allegations, and a lack of big cities volunteering to host. If the International Olympic Committee was a publicly traded company, its stock would be struggling to stay afloat. But, surprisingly, the organization is making more money than ever before. And that's all thanks to a big boost from Asia.
00:00:22
Reuters' Liana Baker explains.>> Because the next two games are in Asia and this is the first of three here in Pyeongchang, it's attracted a lot of Asian sponsorship money. So Alibaba signed on as a new top sponsor, just last year. Joining the ranks of Samsung and Bridgestone, also recent sponsor based in Japan.
00:00:44
So almost a good chunk of maybe half of the sponsors of the Olympics are now based in Asia, and that's really paid off for the IOC.>> The IOC's broadcast revenue hit a record $2.9 billion in Rio and is set to climb even further in Tokyo 2020 Its sponsorship program recently topped $1 billion for the first time as well, despite several scandals over the past few years.
00:01:10
And though there's been a drop in interest among Western cities, Asian cities have been stepping up to fill that gap. Now the future of the Olympics might be in the East.>> It's really important that the Olympics keeps a young audience and keeps growing, because ratings in the US, for example, haven't been so great in the past two years.
00:01:29
So finding the younger audience in Asia will be really important. And we could also see more of a voice of these Asian countries that maybe historically weren't part of the Olympic community. The IOC was founded in Europe, based is Switzerland. So it's more of a Eurocentric organization. So that change could be good but change always makes people uncomfortable.
00:01:49
>> But sources tell Reuters the IOC might have to be careful. Aligning itself to governments like China might mean adjustments to its governance, in the future.