The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded all TV and multiplatform broadcast rights in Europe to Discovery and Eurosport for the four Olympics in the 2018-2024 period.
It’s a significant blow for Europe’s public service broadcasters including the BBC, ARD and ZDF, who have enjoyed decades of Olympic coverage. They and some of the continent’s smaller broadcasters will be hoping that they are able to negotiate a sub license from Discovery.
Commenting on the development, IOC president Thomas Bach said: “This is a significant agreement for Discovery and the IOC, and we are excited to have Eurosport, the pan-European home of Olympic sports, as a partner. This agreement ensures comprehensive coverage of the Olympic Games across Europe, including the guarantee to provide extensive free-to-air television coverage in all territories. Discovery and Eurosport have demonstrated a major commitment to the Olympic Games, to Olympic sports and to the future of the Olympic Movement. The revenue generated from this long-term partnership will be redistributed by the IOC across the Olympic Movement to support the development of sport around the world. Discovery and Eurosport have also made an exciting commitment to partner with the IOC to develop the new Olympic Channel across Europe. Above all, this agreement ensures that sports fans in Europe will be able to enjoy excellent coverage of the Olympic Games and Olympic sports, both during and outside Games time, on their platform of choice.”
Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav added: “Today is a historic day as we proudly add the Olympic rings to Discovery Communications’ portfolio of offerings. The long-term programming commitment with President Bach and the IOC reaffirms Eurosport’s position as the leader in sports across Europe, and will significantly enhance Eurosport’s presence on all platforms. With Eurosport’s proud and long-standing tradition of broadcasting many winter and summer sports showcased during the Olympics, adding the Olympic Games, the greatest live event in the world, is a perfect editorial and strategic fit. But most of all, this new partnership is an exciting win for European sports fans as we will deliver record amounts of content across platforms to ensure the Olympic flame burns bright all year long.”
Discovery has acquired the exclusive rights, valued at €1.3 billion, across all platforms, including FTA TV, subscription/pay-TV, internet and mobile phones, in all languages across 50 countries and territories in Europe except Russia. Consistent with IOC and local market requirements, it has committed to broadcasting a minimum of 200 hours of the Olympic Games and 100 hours of the Olympic Winter Games on FTA TV during the Games period.
Discovery and Eurosport will have access to the Olympic emblems and the Olympic video library and archive. They have agreed to cooperate closely on the rollout of the IOC’s Olympic Channel, taking advantage of Eurosport.com and the OTT service Eurosport Player.
The agreement covers the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in 2018, and the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020, as well as the Olympic Games in 2022 and 2024, the host cities of which have yet to be elected.