The BBC is to remain the home of free-to-air Olympic action for the next the five Olympics – Summer and Winter – on its television, radio and online platforms, after securing a deal with Discovery Communications, who won the rights for the 2022 and 2024 Winter and Summer Games.
The BBC had already secured the rights for the 2016, 2018 and 2020 Winter and Summer Games.
In 2015, Discovery had been awarded pan-European rights to the games, including exclusive UK rights for the 2022 and 2024 Winter and Summer Games. This could have meant that the BBC would not be able to show the Games. UK TV rules state that there must be 200 hours of Olympic Games coverage shown on UK TV on a free to air basis. So the BBC and Discovery have made a “sub licencing” deal for each others UK TV rights.
The long-term agreement sees the BBC sub-license (from Discovery) exclusive free-to-air audio-visual and non-exclusive radio rights to the 2022 and 2024 Olympic Games. This may mean that for these “sub lisenced” Games BBC Coverage may not quite as extensive as the recent Olympic Games, which provided coverage on numerous Red Button streams.
In turn, Discovery will sub-license (from the BBC) exclusive pay-TV rights in the UK to the 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games, and be able to show the 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games on its pay channels, through its Eurosport brand.
“The BBC prides itself on bringing the biggest sporting moments to the public,” said BBC director-general Tony Hall. “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.”
The next four Olympics take place in Rio de Janeiro (2016), Pyeongchang (2018), Tokyo (2020) and Beijing (2022).