Discovery hits 20 Olympic TV deals as duo in Armenia and Kosovo sign up
Public-service broadcasters in both Armenia and Kosovo have acquired free-to-air rights to both the 2018 winter Olympic Games and the 2020 Olympics in sub-licensing agreements with Discovery Communications, the media giant that owns Eurosport.
Armenian Public TV and Kosovo’s RTK have landed the exclusive free-to-air rights, along with selected digital rights for the content they broadcast on their linear television channels, along with selected clip rights to be shown after the live events.
Eurosport has retained rights to showcase the games across its pay-TV, digital and mobile services in the two countries.
The deals take to 20 the number of sub-licensing agreements announced by Discovery in Europe following its €1.3-billion ($1.44-billion) rights deal for four editions of the games from 2018 onwards.
Both Armenian Public TV and RTK are the incumbent Olympics rights-holders in their respective territories, while Digitalb’s SuperSport held rights in Kosovo to last year’s summer Olympics.
Peter Hutton, Eurosport’s chief executive, said today: “The signing of Discovery’s twentieth national broadcaster partnership for the Olympic Games is a mark of our progress and commitment to ensuring the Olympic Games reaches more people, on more screens, than ever before.
“The range and availability of Olympic Games coverage across Europe will be unprecedented for PyeongChang 2018, with every moment available on all screens. Our collaboration with free-to-air partners and offer to mobile operators shows how we are seeking and securing innovative partnerships to maximize engagement around the Games.”
Elsewhere, Discovery also announced non-exclusive PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 radio rights agreements (including digital simulcast via internet and mobile) with the public radio broadcasters in Poland (Polskie Radio) and Sweden (Sveriges Radio).
Along with the UK, notable territories in which Olympic broadcast rights have already been sold on by Discovery include Austria (ORF), the Czech Republic (Ceska Televize), Finland (YLE), the Netherlands (NOS), Poland (TVP) and Switzerland (SRG SSR), and a string of Eastern European deals are also now thought to have been agreed.
Discovery has opted to retain exclusive rights in Germany, Norway and Sweden.
Having rebuffed a sub-licensing deal with public-service broadcasters ARD and ZDF, Discovery has outlined its PyeongChang 2018 broadcast plans in Germany, promising to “show more from the winter Olympics than any other media company before, and on free-to-air TV.”
A total of 50 hours of daily free-to-air coverage will be broadcast from the games across the Eurosport 1, DMAX and TLC channels.
There will also be regular highlights programmes on Eurosport 1, which is available on a free-to-air basis in Germany.
Sports events particularly popular among female viewers, including figure skating, are set to feature on TLC, better known for its reality TV and entertainment programming.
In addition, there will be extensive live coverage on pay-TV channel Eurosport 2.