Discovery Communications and Eurosport have inked an exclusive European multi-platform broadcast and distribution deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for four Olympic Games between 2018 and 2024.
The acquisition, which is valued at €1.3 billion (US$1.44 billion), will see the Games broadcast across all platforms that include free-to-air, pay-TV, online and mobile in 20 languages across 50 European countries and territories.
The deal excludes the Russian Federation and will not cover the 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games for France and the UK, as broadcast rights had previously been acquired by France Télévisions and the BBC, respectively.
As part of IOC and local market regulations, Discovery is to transmit a minimum of 200 hours of the Olympic Games and 100 hours of the Olympic Winter Games on free-to-air television. In addition, Discovery will sub-license a portion of the rights in many markets across Europe.
Eurosport and Discovery will work closely alongside the IOC to roll out the Olympic Channel which is to launch across Eurosport.com and OTT service Eurosport Player. The broadcast partners will also have exclusive access to the Olympic video library and archives.
The agreement, which is expected to reach more than 700 million people across Europe, covers the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo; and the Olympic Games in 2022 and 2024, for which host cities have yet to be selected.
“Today is a historic day as we proudly add the Olympic rings to Discovery Communications’ portfolio of offerings,” said Discovery Communications’ president and CEO David Zaslav (pictured) in a statement. “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.”
“This agreement ensures comprehensive coverage of the Olympic Games across Europe, including the guarantee to provide extensive free-to-air television coverage in all territories,” offered IOC president Thomas Bach. “Discovery and Eurosport have demonstrated a major commitment to the Olympic Games, to Olympic sports and to the future of the Olympic movement.”
“We took control of Eurosport a year ago and embarked on a long-term mission to reinvigorate and strengthen its networks and brand,” JB Perrette, president of Discovery Networks International, added. “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.”