The BBC will continue to show the Olympics until at least 2024 after striking a deal to sub-license the Games from Discovery Communications which last year signed a Europe-wide deal with International Olympic Committee for the 2022 and 2024 contests.
Under the agreement the BBC will sub-license from Discovery exclusive free-to-air audio-visual and non-exclusive radio rights to the 2022 and 2024 Olympic Games. In turn, Discovery will sub-license from the BBC exclusive pay-TV rights in the UK to the 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games.
BBC bosses say the deal means the BBC will remain the exclusive free to air Olympic broadcaster in the UK for the next five Games.
Director-General Tony Hall said: “The BBC prides itself on bringing the biggest sporting moments to the public. For many, the BBC has been their stadium for Olympic coverage. It is an event that unites the nation like no other. I’m delighted that through our new partnership with Discovery, the BBC will continue to carry the torch for great sporting coverage right through to the 2024 Games.
“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 Communications, added: “Discovery is a passionate and committed partner of the Olympic Movement. Today’s agreement is a win for UK sports fans and marks an exciting new chapter in Discovery and the BBC’s partnership on major sporting events.
“For 30 years, our two organisations have chartered new frontiers with co-production partnerships in factual and natural history programming. Now we join together once again to bring the most compelling stories of human ambition, sacrifice and achievement to people across the UK.”