In 2015 the shock was great: ARD/ZDF did not receive any Olympic rights. A deal only succeeds after renegotiations. The latest IOC tender is different.
Sports fans can look forward to extensive TV coverage of the Olympic Games until at least 2032. There will be hundreds of hours of moving pictures in Germany on ARD and ZDF as well as on Eurosport.
This is ensured by a contract between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the US company Warner Bros. Discovery, which has been published.
The extensive TV package includes the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles and 2032 in Brisbane as well as the 2026 Winter Games in Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo and the 2030 games that have not yet been awarded. IOC President Thomas Bach said about the contracts with EBU and Warner Bros Discovery: “We are delighted to have formed a long-term partnership with two of the world’s leading media companies.”
At ARD and ZDF, the relief was great, because the stations initially received nothing in the previous call for tenders by the IOC eight years ago. Only after lengthy renegotiations with the Eurosport parent did they secure the rights for the games from 2018 to 2024 via sub-licenses.
Extensive rights for ARD/ZDF
While the public broadcasters failed to go it alone, this time they secured extensive rights through the EBU. Thanks to the merger of the public service broadcasters in Europe, ARD and ZDF are allowed to report more than 200 hours on the Summer Games and at least 100 hours on the Winter Games on television. They can also use images for their digital offers, including social media, and report on the radio.
The viewers “can look forward to the fact that we will continue to broadcast the Olympic Games in all their sporting diversity free to everyone,” commented ZDF director Norbert Himmler. Tom Buhrow, who is responsible for sports rights at ARD, said: “Sporting diversity is a key issue for public broadcasting – and no other sporting event represents this more than the Olympic Games. We are therefore particularly pleased that we are talking about Olympic sports ( …) not only be able to report extensively between the Olympic Games, but also continue to accompany them on the big stage.”
Pictures also at Eurosport
In Germany, Olympic pictures will also be shown on the free TV channel Europort, which belongs to Warner Bros. Discovery. Unlike eight years ago, the US company worked together with the EBU on the IOC tender this time and received the rights through a joint bid. Warner Bros. Discovery also secured extensive rights in this way, broadcasting on free-to-air TV in Germany on Eurosport and also on its pay-TV channels in other European countries.
“This agreement is a milestone for public broadcasters,” said EBU President Delphine Ernotte Cunci. “Through its members, the EBU is able to reach more than a billion viewers across Europe across linear and non-linear platforms.” According to Bach, the agreement “underscores the continued appeal of the Olympic Games across Europe”.
The IOC will redistribute 90 percent of the revenue generated, said Bach. He did not say how much the contract is worth. In the last tender for Europe, the IOC said it had raised 1.3 billion euros for four games.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.