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EuroSport Wins Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have awarded Discovery's EuroSport rights to The Olympic Games 2018 to 2024 in over 50 European Countries. Previously FiveSport had won the same rights and it was through these rights that RTÉ was able to buy The Olympic Games 2016. The games have been awarded to Discovery Communications owners of pan-European TV satellite broadcaster EuroSport, however rights do not cover British or French rights.

London 2012 Title: RTÉ Graphic Design VFX Reel from Alan Dunne on Vimeo.

The Olympic Games are covered by the Irish Government designated sporting events. This means that the games must be carried on a Free-To-Air services such as RTÉ, TV3, TG4 or UTV Ireland.

According to reports in the last number of weeks Liberty Global are considering buy TV3, should this happen this could mean the move of the Olympic games to TV3 from RTÉ.

Liberty Global is connected to Discovery through a shareholder, Irish-American business man John Malone. He owns a 27% stake in Liberty Global and a 29% stake in Discovery.

However RTÉ have stated that it is too early to say who will broadcast the games in Ireland come 2020.

French rights stay with state broadcaster France Télévisions until 2016, before moving to EuroSport, while the BBC will continue to cover the games until 2020 before moving to EuroSport.

The total cost to Discovery for the rights came to €1.3Billion.

The agreement covers the 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.

From 2018 EuroSport will hold the rights from 2018:-

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France**, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom**, Vatican City State

IOC President Thomas Bach 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 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.”

Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav 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.”