IOC deal with EBU and Warner Bros Discovery means that BBC will continue to broadcast two live sports at one time

The BBC will continue its tradition in broadcasting the Olympic Games for at least another decade.

The IOC deal struck between the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Warner Bros Discovery (WBU), means BBC viewers can watch up to 500 free-to-air hours of action during both Los Angeles 2028 and Brisbane 2032. That also includes the Winter Olympics in 2026 and 2030.

However, the £1.1bn deal also means the BBC will not be able to provide blanket coverage of every single event, like it did for London 2012 for example.

This is because the rights are sub-licensed to public service broadcasters.

Such a deal will be similar to that of Tokyo 2020 where Discovery showcased more than 3500 hours of coverage in the UK, seven times as many hours than the BBC.

Paris Olympics celebration (Getty)

Viewers will therefore be able to watch two sports live one time on the BBC but may have to gain an extra subscription to watch more.

The same applies for other public broadcasters in Europe, in the fact they don’t have the exclusive rights to provide wall-to-wall coverage of the Games.

EBU had first broadcast the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. They’d lost out to Discovery for full exclusive rights in 2015. That was a deal which expires after Paris 2024.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “We are delighted to have reached a long-term agreement with two of the world’s leading media companies. 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. As the IOC redistributes 90 per cent of the revenues it generates, this long-term agreement also provides critical financial stability to the wider sporting movement and ultimately supports the athletes themselves.”

Barbara Slater, BBC director of Sport, said: “This partnership ensures that audiences in the UK will continue to have free-to-air access to the Olympic Games for the next decade.

“The BBC’s ability to bring the nation together is second to none and this new deal provides sports fans a comprehensive, compelling live and on demand offer.”

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