Eurosport has confirmed it will retain exclusive broadcast rights in Germany to the Olympic Games from 2018 to 2024.
The Discovery-owned broadcaster, which took the media rights to the Games for that period across Europe in a €1.3 billion (US$1.45 billion at contemporary rates) deal in June 2015, will not complete a sub-licensing deal in Germany with a free-to-air outlet, as it has done so far in a range of territories including the UK, Switzerland, Finland and the Netherlands. Instead, beginning with the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, free access will be made available for selected events across Eurosport 1, DMAX, and the Eurosport Player digital service. Eurosport has stated that it would go beyond the levels of free coverage required by local regulators and the IOC.
According to reports in Germany, Eurosport had been in discussions with leading free-to-air broadcasters ARD and ZDF before deciding to proceed on its own. Discovery was said to have been seeking €150 million (US$159.6 million) for the rights to the 2018 and 2020 Games, with ARD and ZDF unwilling to go above €100 million (US$106.4 million).
"We are excited to bring German fans an outstanding Olympic Games experience that will be highly comprehensive and in-depth," said said Susanne Aigner-Drews, the senior vice president and general manager of Discovery Networks Germany. "For the first time, our multi-platform approach will give fans the opportunity to enjoy every single moment live, with all of the data available in real time, for every German athlete and every event.
“Building on the strong legacy of the past, our extensive free to air coverage will be enhanced by live and on-demand action across all screens to share the inspiration of the Olympic Games with the next generation of passionate fans in Germany. As the world’s number one storyteller, Discovery is particularly excited that we will be working closely with the German Olympic Sports Confederation [DOSB] and the national federations to bring to life the incredible stories of German Olympians as they strive towards their ultimate goal."
Peter Hutton, the Eurosport chief executive, added: "Eurosport is committed to making a significant investment to deliver the ultimate Games experience for fans in Germany. Our leadership in Olympic sports broadcasting and ability to leverage new technologies, combined with Discovery’s extensive presence and platforms in Germany, will bring viewers closer to the action and their national heroes. We look forward to sharing further details about our vision and production plans in the coming weeks, as the excitement continues to build for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.”