POSTED: July 18th 2012

BBC secures longtime run on Olympic TV rights through 2020 Games

BBC proud holder of British TV rights since 1960 / BBC
BBC proud holder of British TV rights since 1960 / BBC

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

July 18 – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced today that they have awarded the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) the exclusive rights for broadcasting the Olympics in the United Kingdom through the 2020 Games. This gives the BBC the rights to broadcast across all platforms, television, internet and mobile phones.

The BBC has held onto a long run with the British broadcast rights since 1960 in Rome, Italy.

This package will include the XXII Olympic Winter Games (2014) in Sochi, Russia; the Games of the XXXI Olympiad (2016) in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; and the XXIII Olympic Winter Games (2018) in PyeongChang and the XXXII Olympiad (2020) that will be decided next September 7th in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

IOC President Jacques Rogge said, “As the host of the London 2012 Olympic Games and the birthplace of many Olympic sports, the UK is a very important nation for the Olympic Movement.

“The BBC is a world-renowned media organisation with which we are proud to have worked for many decades, including for the upcoming Olympic Games. 

“We are delighted that the BBC will continue as our partner beyond London 2012, providing fantastic free coverage of the Olympic Games to the widest possible audience in the UK across a variety of media platforms.”

Mark Thompson, the director-general of the BBC, was thrilled, "I'm delighted that the Olympic Games will continue to be broadcast exclusively on the BBC into the 2020's.

“It's terrific news in the days before BBC Sport begins to cover the London 2012 Games and a tribute to the enduring partnership between the BBC and the Olympic Movement".

IOC Vice President Thomas Bach led the negotiations with the British tenders however the list of tenders nor the final value of the contract has been disclosed as yet.  

Bach, who is a likely contender for the IOC presidency next year, said, “The BBC consistently does an excellent job of broadcasting the Olympic Games, so this long-term agreement is very good news for sports fans in the UK.

“From a commercial perspective, we adapted our traditional broadcast rights approach in Europe for the 2014-2016 cycle and beyond, and have negotiated several key European territories directly. This announcement is significant as it completes the IOC’s direct negotiations for the 2014-2016 period in Europe.”

IOC Executive Board member, Richard Carrion, was the one who guided the USA marketing rights market that landed US$4.38 billion last year as NBC extended its rights through the 2020 Games as well. Carrion is also a likely candidate for the IOC top job that will be decided next September as Dr Jacques Rogge ends his term.  

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said on the BBC website, "This news will come as a massive boost to our teams who are about to undertake our most ambitious sports broadcast ever at the biggest sporting event in our country's history.

"The Olympic Games has always been significant as an event that brings the nation together as well as a catalyst for broadcasting innovation and we're delighted that BBC Sport can now continue to deliver on these traditions."

Keywords · BBC · IOC · Jacques Rogge · Thomas Bach · Mark Thompson · Richard Carrion · Barbara Slater

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