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European public broadcasters get Olympics through 2032

The broadcast rights will be shared with Warner Bros Discovery, which owns the pan-continent sports network Eurosport.

The broadcast rights will be shared with Warner Bros Discovery, which owns the pan-continent sports network Eurosport.

The rings of the Olympic Games on display in London.
The rings of the Olympic Games on display in London. (Photo by Ivan Bandura via Wikimedia Commons, Graphic by The Desk)

Public broadcasters in Europe will share the broadcast rights to the Olympic games with Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) through 2032, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Monday.

The European Broadcasters Union (EBU), a consortium of public broadcasters on the continent, submitted a joint bid with WBD to secure the rights to the games across 49 countries in Europe.

The deal starts in 2026 with the Winter Games in Italy through the end of the 2032 Summer Games in Australia. It will also include the Youth Olympic Games; rights for the Paralympic Games are negotiated separately.

“We are delighted to have reached a long-term agreement with two of the world’s leading media companies,” Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, said in a statement. “The EBU and its members provide unparalleled broadcast expertise and reach across Europe, and Warner Bros. Discovery, through the recent combination of Warner Media and Discovery, represents one of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies across all programming genres and platforms. It demonstrates the ongoing appeal of the Olympic Games across Europe.”

Under the agreement, the EBU public broadcasters will air more than 200 hours of Olympic events on free-to-air television and radio stations throughout Europe. That coverage will simulcast on WBD properties, which will also offer events that are not covered on EBU stations.

“Through its members, the EBU has the potential to reach over 1 billion viewers across Europe via linear and non-linear platforms,” Delphine Ernotte Cunci, the president of the EBU and the CEO of France Télévisions, said on Monday. “That’s why I’m so pleased to welcome this partnership with the IOC and Warner Bros. Discovery, which will ensure the Games will be available to the widest possible audience across Europe.”

The EBU member stations include ORF in Austria; France Télévisions (France 2, France 3) and Radio France; ARD and ZDF in Germany; RTÉ and TG4 in Ireland; RTL in Luxembourgh; NRK in Norway; RTVE in Spain; SRF and RTS in Switzerland; and the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.

WBD-owned Eurosport started broadcasting Olympic games several years ago, and is the only media company on the content with the rights to offer every Olympic event live.

“As the Home of the Olympics in Europe for the last three Olympic Games, we are pleased to be extending our relationship with the IOC through 2032,” Andrew Georgiou, the president and managing director of WBD Sports Europe, said. “Ahead of what promises to be a magnificent Olympic Games Paris 2024, we are delighted that Warner Bros. Discovery will remain the only place where fans can get every moment of the following four Olympics.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).