Discovery seals Olympics sub-licensing deal in Ukraine
UA:PBC, the public-service broadcaster in Ukraine, has acquired free-to-air rights to both the 2018 winter Olympics and the 2020 summer games in a sub-licensing agreement with Discovery Communications, the media giant that owns Eurosport.
Action from PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 will air on the broadcaster's main UA: First channel. It will feature the major events involving Ukrainian athletes, as well as the final stages of the main competitions.
The deal satisfies the contractual requirement of 200 hours of free-to-air coverage from the summer Olympics and 100 hours from the winter Olympics, while Eurosport has retained rights to showcase both games across its pay-TV, digital and mobile services.
UA:PBC had revealed in September that sub-licensing talks with Discovery had broken down because it could not afford the fee, particularly in the wake of its outlay as the host broadcaster of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, staged in Kiev.
NTU, the predecessor to UA:PBC as the public broadcaster in Ukraine, was the Olympics media rights-holder in the country up until and including Rio 2016.
Ukrainian pole vault legend Sergey Bubka, president of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee, and a member of the International Olympic Committee, said the sub-licensing deal will enable the "younger generation to see a strong and healthy Ukrainian nation."
UA:PBC board member Alexander Koltsov added: "For any public broadcaster in the world, sport is one of the key components and it has to be presented on all our platforms. The sports achievements of Ukrainians are known all over the world, we have many outstanding athletes who will now be watched by millions of sports fans."
Discovery has struck a number of of sub-licensing agreements in Europe following its €1.3-billion ($1.56-billion) rights deal for four editions of the games from 2018 onwards.