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Nortel Disqualified From 2012 Olympics

It wasn't steroids, blood doping, or an impetuous Eastern European judge that forced Nortel Networks Ltd. out of the 2012 Olympics. But now Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) gets its chance to go for the gold instead.

The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), which is organizing the 2012 Olympic Games, announced today that it's picked Cisco to provide the games' network infrastructure, displacing Nortel on the grounds that Nortel might not, you know, exist in 2012.

LOCOG announced the change this morning (U.S. time).

Nortel was dropped after it announced it would try to sell itself off in pieces. (See Nortel: It's All Up for Sale.) LOCOG invited Cisco to put in a bid, which was accepted.

"In order to deliver 'the most connected Games possible', LOCOG felt it was vital to work with a single business to cover the entire network infrastructure," the statement explains. "As a result, LOCOG and Nortel amicably decided to bring the current agreement to an end."

The statement says LOCOG asked Cisco to put in a bid, which it did.

It's quite the stroke of luck for Cisco, which has been screamingly unsubtle about its sports ambitions. The company is hyping its concept of techno-heavy stadiums and now has the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees on its side. (See IPTV Scores at Cowboys Stadium.) Cisco Field, the theoretical ballpark for the Oakland A's, could be another example... someday... if it ever gets built.

Nortel is also a sponsor of the 2010 winter games in Vancouver, but a spokesman says the network buildout there is 85 percent complete. "We remain fully committed to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games," the company says in a prepared statement.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:00:48 PM
re: Nortel Disqualified From 2012 Olympics

About the "Someday" comment -- I haven't blogged the Cisco Field status in a while. San Jose is hoping to snare the A's, but who knows if that's gonna happen. Here's a Mercury News column about what the A's and MLB oughta do:


digits 12/5/2012 | 4:00:47 PM
re: Nortel Disqualified From 2012 Olympics

Does this mean Cisco is now for the high jump instead of Nortel?

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