Olympic deal with Sportfive confirmed at more than US$300 million
Length of contract: 3 years | Annualised value: US$105 million | Overall value: US$315m
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has signed a pan-European broadcast deal with Sportfive, the international company that has grown into the largest soccer agency and one of the largest sports agencies worldwide, worth US$315 million according to an insider.
The deal, which covers broadcast rights for the for 2014 winter and 2016 summer Olympic Games in 40 countries across Europe, marks a major leap forwards in Sportfive's non-soccer activities.
While France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom are excluded from the deal, it does cover Russia, the 2014 winter Games hosts, as well as Scandinavia, Greece and the whole of Eastern Europe.
Sportfive has acquired the rights across all media platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, internet and mobile phone, across the 40 nations.
"We at Sportfive are honoured and delighted to have been appointed as the IOC partner for European TV rights for the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games," said Richard Worth, the company's chief executive.
"We have already been working together with the IOC for a number of months to reach this point, and have been positively encouraged by the excellent spirit of partnership and co-operation which has developed.
"Our determination is to fully uphold the Olympic ideals throughout our relationship with the IOC and to establish a broadcaster network of the highest quality and commitment.
"We are also extremely fortunate to have received the full support of Groupe Lagardère and Lagardère Sports in this process, and it is a significant step forwards for all concerned in maintaining the reputation of Sportfive as Europe's leading sports marketing organisation."
The deal is the first time since 1956 that the European Broadcast Union (EBU) has not been handed the European broadcasting rights as a complete package. IOC President Jacques Rogge described it as, "an exciting new era in the broadcasting of the Olympic Games."
"The IOC is committed to ensuring that as many people as possible have access to the best possible Olympic broadcast experience," he said.
"We look forward to working with Sportfive to make this a possibility across Europe.
"I would also like to thank our current partner, the European Broadcasting Union, for its hard work and dedication to the Olympic Movement over many years and we look forward to continuing our partnership for the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympic Games."
The IOC stressed that the decision was not purely financial, and praised Sportfive's passion and commitment for the Olympic Games and the Olympic values.
IOC vice-president Thomas Bach, who led the negotiations, commented: "The IOC is delighted to announce its partnership with Sportfive.
"This agreement will ensure that Olympic fans across Europe have as much choice as possible in how they follow the Olympic Games across a variety of platforms.
"The agreement will also generate significant revenues, which will be distributed throughout the Olympic Movement, including to the International Sports Federations, the National Olympic Committees and the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games, to help stage the Olympic Games and ensure the development of sport across the world.
"I would like to thank all the organisations that participated in the tender for their hard work and their continued interest in the Olympic Movement."
The IOC has reached individual agreements with Sky Italia in Italy and Fox Turkey in Turkey for the period, while negotiations with broadcasters in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom will begin in due course.
Any agreement in these countries will include a commitment of at least 200 hours of free-to-air television coverage for the summer Olympic Games and 100 hours for the winter Games.
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