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World

BBC secures rights to 2022, 2024 Olympics from Discovery

Stephen Wilson - Associated Press

LONDON — The BBC will continue to broadcast the Olympics through 2024 after reaching a deal yesterday to sub-license the exclusive British television rights from Discovery Communications.

Discovery, which owns Eurosport and holds the European rights through 2024, agreed to sell the British free TV rights on to the BBC for the 2022 Winter Games and 2024 Summer Olympics. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the deal, Discovery will sub-license from the BBC the exclusive pay TV rights in Britain for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

It's the first sub-licensing deal by Discovery, the US-based media giant which secured the European rights last June across 50 countries for four Olympics from 2018 to 2024 in a landmark deal worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.45 billion).

The deal could have left the BBC, which has held rights in Britain to the Olympics since 1960, out of the picture after its current deal expires in 2020. But the sub-licensing agreement means the BBC will now also show the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing and the 2024 Summer Olympics, whose site has not yet been chosen.

"I'm delighted that through our new partnership with Discovery, the BBC will continue to carry the torch for great sporting coverage through to the 2024 Games," BBC director general Tony Hall said. "While the BBC has had to take some tough financial decisions, this partnership underlines our commitment to making world class sport available to all."

David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery, called the agreement "a win for UK sports fans."

"By sharing the rights, viewers will benefit from the BBC's rich Olympic heritage and Discovery's innovative approach to storytelling," said Timo Lumme, the IOC's director of television and marketing services. "Together, they will make the Olympics Games as accessible and engaging as possible."

Discovery bought Eurosport, Europe's leading sports network, in 2014 for about $345 million. Discovery, which is based in Silver Spring, Maryland, is the home of channels including Animal Planet, TLC and OWN.

Discovery has said it would sub-license a portion of the rights in numerous countries across Europe. In addition to the BBC, French broadcaster France Televisions has rights through 2020.

ANIMAL PLANET

BBC

DAVID ZASLAV

DISCOVERY

DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

EUROSPORT

FRANCE TELEVISIONS

QUOT

RIGHTS

SUMMER OLYMPICS

WINTER GAMES

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