Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports, made the comments during his first visit to the Canadian West Coast since Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Winter Games in July over Salzburg, Austria, and Pyeongchang, South Korea.
"From the beginning we could see in this bid group a really strong group of professionals," said Ebersol. "Often times in the earliest stages of a bid that's not the case. You have well-meaning local tourism boosters.
"This was much more than that. There were some rock-solid businessmen strongly back by government, both on the national and local level."
Ebersol made no secret of his pleasure that the Vancouver victory means the 2010 event will be held in a North American time zone.
In many cases, delayed coverage from Europe, Australia and Asia hurt ratings, as American broadcasters opted for taped programming in prime time in lieu of late-night or early-morning live action.
"You can get live Olympics in the afternoon and live Olympics at night," Ebersol said of Vancouver 2010.
NBC recently paid $2.2 billion US for the television rights for the 2010 Winter Games and the 2012 Summer Olympics. They shelled out $820 million for 2010 and a whopping $1.181 billion for 2012.
The 2012 host city will be decided in July 2005, but already the competition is fierce. Paris, New York, London, Moscow, Istanbul, Madrid, Rio De Janeiro, Havana and Leipzig, Germany are among the nine candidates.
Ebersol believes the Olympic's high price tag is worth it since it's programming that cuts across generational lines.
The NBC Sports chief also told reporters he likes the way the International Olympic Committee has tried to stay relevant to young people by introducing more extreme sports.
"The addition of sports like snowboarding, the aerials, skeleton and women's bobsled, keep it at an edge where young people want to continue to stay involved," he said.
Ebersol, whose network often shows skateboarding and BMX events, also said he likes the addition of BMX to the 2008 Summer Olympic program.
Over the last several years NBC made the decision to stay with the Olympics while shedding its coverage of Major League Baseball and the National Football League.
"We told the people we're not going to be involved anymore because there's such financial losses associated with those TV contracts," Ebersol said.
"That's not the case with the Olympics. We've made a nice modest profit with each of the last three Games we've been involved with (Atlanta, Sydney and Salt Lake City). We expect we will be here as well."
Ebersol was also asked about hockey during his West Coast visit. He said the NHL would need to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with the players' union before American networks would consider a deal comparable to other major sports.
The NHL's current collective bargaining agreement expires on Sept. 15, 2004.
with files from Canadian Press