Rai, the Italian public service broadcaster, has secured domestic rights to all summer and winter Olympic Games until 2032 under a sub-licensing deal with US media giant Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the alliance of public service networks.
The agreement covers the Paris 2024, Los Angeles 2028, and Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2026 Milano Cortina and 2030 Winter Games. It allows Rai to broadcast the events exclusively across its linear and digital platforms and non-exclusively on the radio.
Rai already holds the rights to show 360 hours of the 2024 Paris Summer Games across all platforms as part of a previous deal with WDB that also included the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.
WBD will still provide coverage of the games in Italy on its pan-European sports network Eurosport and streaming platform Discovery+.
WBD and EBU hold European rights in 49 countries for four editions of the Olympics between 2026 and 2032 (both winter and summer) having struck a new deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in January.
That deal, which starts with the Milan Cortina Winter Olympics in three years' time, will see the EBU hold free-to-air rights across the continent on both linear and digital platforms.
For WBD, the deal was an extension of a tie-up struck in 2015, which saw it hold full rights in all European countries (excluding Russia) for four editions of the Olympics running from 2018 to 2024 as part of a €1.3-billion ($1.6-billion) deal struck in 2015.
Rai also sub-licensed rights from WBD for both the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and the 2022 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
WBD claimed during the last edition of the Summer Olympics, in Tokyo in 2021, that 372 million people across Europe engaged with the games, of whom 175 million did so through WBD platforms.
The media heavyweight has also said that during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, the number of visitors to its platforms from European countries was 156 million, 19 times more than during the previous Winter Games, Pyeongchang 2018.
In February, Australian commercial broadcaster Nine Network also secured exclusive domestic rights for all Summer and Winter Olympic Games until 2032 under a deal struck with the IOC worth AUD315 million ($220 million).