All TV and multiplatform broadcast rights in Europe for the four Olympic Games in the 2018–2024 period have been awarded to Discovery Communications, the parent company of Eurosport, in a deal valued at 1.3 billion euros ($1.45 billion).
Discovery has committed to broadcasting a minimum of 200 hours of the Olympic Games and 100 hours of the Olympic Winter Games on free-to-air TV during the period. Discovery will sub-license a portion of the rights in many markets across Europe. With the total footprint, Discovery and Eurosport will deliver coverage to more than 700 million people across Europe, on free-to-air, pay TV, online and mobile.
The agreement covers the European rights of Olympic Games between 2018-2024 that includes XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in 2018, and the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020, as well as the Olympic Games in 2022 and 2024 (the host cities of which have yet to be elected).
Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said: “This is a significant agreement for Discovery and the IOC, and we are excited to have Eurosport, the pan-European home of Olympic sports, as a partner. This agreement for European rights of Olympic Games between 2018-2024 ensures comprehensive coverage of the Olympic Games across Europe, including the guarantee to provide extensive free-to-air television coverage in all territories.
Discovery and Eurosport have demonstrated a major commitment to the Olympic Games, to Olympic sports and to the future of the Olympic Movement. The revenue generated from this long-term partnership will be redistributed by the IOC across the Olympic Movement to support the development of sport around the world.
Discovery and Eurosport have also made an exciting commitment to partner with the IOC to develop the new Olympic Channel across Europe. Above all, this agreement ensures that sports fans in Europe will be able to enjoy excellent coverage of the Olympic Games and Olympic sports, both during and outside Games time, on their platform of choice.”
David Zaslav, Discovery Communications’ president and CEO, added: “Today is a historic day as we proudly add the Olympic rings to Discovery Communications’ portfolio of offerings. The long-term programming commitment with President Bach and the IOC reaffirms Eurosport’s position as the leader in sports across Europe, and will significantly enhance Eurosport’s presence on all platforms. With Eurosport’s proud and long-standing tradition of broadcasting many winter and summer sports showcased during the Olympics, adding the Olympic Games, the greatest live event in the world, is a perfect editorial and strategic fit. But most of all, this new partnership is an exciting win for European sports fans as we will deliver record amounts of content across platforms to ensure the Olympic flame burns bright all year long.”
Juan Antonio Samaranch, IOC’s executive board member and delegate IOC member for European broadcast rights, said: “We are delighted to have reached this agreement, which we believe will bring fantastic coverage of the Olympic Games and the Olympic values to the largest audience in Europe across all media platforms. Discovery and Eurosport will ensure the exposure of the Olympic Games through their own TV channels and media platforms, and, where relevant, by reaching sublicensing partnerships with other broadcasters in the various territories. Olympic fans will also benefit from comprehensive digital coverage on Eurosport’s leading pan-regional digital platforms.”
JB Perrette, the president of Discovery Networks International, commented: “We took control of Eurosport a year ago and embarked on a long-term mission to reinvigorate and strengthen its networks and brand. Today’s announcement is an incredibly exciting step forward on that journey. Eurosport’s unmatched technical prowess and ability to deliver the Olympic Games to 50 countries in 20 languages across multiple platforms is an important win for sports fans. We are thrilled and humbled to partner with one of the most recognized and powerful global brands, that not only delivers the biggest global event but also shares our company’s DNA of engaging and inspiring people in addition to entertaining them.”