Seven considers selling on Tokyo Olympics rights amid falling share price
Seven, the Australian commercial broadcaster, is reportedly considering offloading its broadcasting rights to the restaged 2020 Olympic Games next year, with rival broadcaster Ten floated as a potential favourite to secure the rights.
Citing sources at its parent company Seven West Media, Australia’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper yesterday said the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic coupled with a crashing share price has forced the broadcaster to consider selling off its coveted Olympic media rights in a fire sale.
In 2014, Seven signed an agreement with the International Olympic Committee reported to be worth as much as A$200 million ($134.76 million), for the rights to the 2016 and 2020 summer Olympics in Rio and Tokyo, respectively, as well as the 2018 winter Olympics in PyeongChang and the 2014 summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
In March, Seven sold the live radio rights to the 2020 Olympics to Australian-American radio and television distribution company Crocmedia after public-service broadcaster ABC decided against paying the A$400,000 for the contract.
The Sunday Telegraph said should Seven choose to offload its rights to the Olympics, the likely bidder for the rights would be Ten, with the backing of its US parent company ViacomCBS.
It would be Ten’s first coverage of a summer Olympic Games since Seoul in 1988.