German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF might not be able to transmit the Olympic Games in 2018 and 2020.
The negotiations with Discovery regarding the German TV rights have stalled, reports German business magazine Manager Magazin with reference to involved parties from both sides. The public broadcasters’ representatives would now even threaten to terminate the negotiations if the opposite side doesn’t move from its position by summer.
Discovery asks for €150 million for the two events, according to the report, but ARD and ZDF were only prepared to pay up to €100 million.
Discovery bought the European TV rights for the 2018-2024 Olympics from the IOC one year ago for a total of €1.3 billion. The US broadcaster which operates sports channel Eurosport, offered in Germany as a free-to-air service, and several pay-TV channels ensured to IOC extensive free-to-air coverage of the Olympics.
Discovery now evaluates scenarios how to exploit the rights without participation of ARD and ZDF, reports the magazine with reference to involved people. The company also offers the public broadcasters a different solution: If they hand over other sports rights to Eurosport, they could get a price reduction for the Olympic rights.
In Austria, public broadcaster ORF recently reached a deal with Discovery to sublicense the 2018 and 2020 Olympic rights.