Discovery takes Olympics sub-licensing deals to 18
Discovery Communications, the media giant that owns Eurosport, announced today that it has now concluded 18 sub-licensing deals with free-to-air broadcasters across Europe for the 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games.
Discovery, which paid €1.3-billion ($1.4-billion) for the European rights (excluding Russia) to the Olympics from 2018 to 2024, said the deals form part of its drive to "establish the broadest possible access and audience to upcoming Olympic Games and further contribute to its ambition to share the games with more people, on more screens, than ever before."
Sportcal reported yesterday that TVP, the public-service broadcaster in Poland, had reached agreement with Eurosport, and that was one of six deals officially unveiled by Discovery on Wednesday.
These include exclusive free-to-air sub-licensing deals in Georgia with Georgian Public Broadcasting, in Iceland with RUV and in Latvia with LTV.
The agreement with Eesti Media, the Baltic media group in Estonia, cited in today's statement by Discovery, was signed off in December, and is the first deal to be agreed with an organisation that is not a member of the European Broadcasting Union. In Lithuania, the rights were sold onto Lithuanian National Olympic Committee (LNOK), and last month Sportcal reported that free-to-air channel TV3, owned by Scandinavia's Modern Times Group, will show the 2018 and 2020 games in the country.
Peter Hutton, chief executive of Eurosport, said: “We are excited and proud to work with partners that value the Olympic Games as much as we do, and help us achieve our ambition to bring the Games to more people on more screens than ever before.
"When you consider alongside our decision for Eurosport to retain the exclusive rights in Germany and our preparations for extensive coverage in Norway and Sweden, these new agreements are a further sign that we are well on track to delivering the ultimate Olympic Games experience.”
The other 12 countries in which Discovery has sub-licensing deals in place with public-service broadcasters are: Austria (ORF); Belarus (BTRC); Croatia (HRT); the Czech Republic (Ceska Televize); Finland (YLE); Hungary (MTVA); Ireland (RTE), the Netherlands (NOS), Slovenia (RTV Slovenija), Slovakia (RTVS), Switzerland (SRG SSR) and the UK (BBC).
Eurosport has retained rights to air all the action from the two Olympics on its pay-TV and digital platforms across Europe.
As referenced by Hutton, the one major market in which Discovery will be the sole broadcaster is Germany. This follows the collpase of negotiations with incumbent rights-holders ARD and ZDF.