IOC seals Indian sub-continent deal with Sony for Tokyo 2020
Sony Pictures Networks, the Indian broadcasting group, has landed rights across the Indian sub-continent to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee announced today.
The agreement, which also includes the 2020 winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, covers all media platforms, with the exception of the free-to-air rights in Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, where rights have already been awarded to the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, the union of free-to-air broadcasters in the region.
Given the long-term agreements signed up worldwide, this is the IOC's first direct broadcast deal in over a year.
In addition to the live coverage on SonyLIV, SPN's digital platform, the IOC's Olympic Channel and other IOC digital platforms will offer highlights and replays of key events in the Indian sub-continent.
Separately, the IOC and SPN are to work together on creating a permanent Olympic Channel home within the SonyLIV over-the-top service.
Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, said: “As a dynamic sports and media market, India and the sub-continent is an important strategic region for Olympic broadcasting. The IOC is pleased to be working with Sony Pictures Networks India to collaborate together to bring the best coverage of Tokyo 2020 and the Youth Olympic Games to fans across the region, on their platform of choice, with the aim of inspiring young people to engage with Olympic sports and the Olympic values.”
NP Singh, managing director and chief executive of SPN, added: “As an organisation, we continue to play a leading role in shaping and meeting the entertainment needs of the evolving consumer base across television and digital platforms in India. The Olympic Games is the largest and most prestigious international sports competition in the world with over 200 countries participating. The addition of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 broadcast and digital rights complements our portfolio of International sports events and properties.”
PyeongChang 2018 marked the first time live coverage of an Olympic Games was shown by the Olympic Channel, after the IOC opted to retain rights in the Indian sub-continent.
The IOC had issued an invitation to tender in the region in October 2017, but after negotiations with broadcasters did not result in a deal, the Olympic Channel decided to live-stream the winter games in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Star India, the pay-TV broadcaster, held rights in the Indian sub-continent in the last cycle (covering Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016), with coverage also available on Doordarshan, the Indian state broadcaster.