DR waiting to discover whether its Olympic dream is in jeopardy

A new deal granting the European rights from 2018 to 2024 to Discovery Communication is likely to alter the amount of coverage on free-to-air television

There is uncertainty over whether Danish viewers will be able to watch the Olympic Games, both the winter and summer editions, on free-to-air television from 2018 onwards due to a new rights deal that covers most of Europe.

On Monday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) revealed it had awarded the 2018-24 Olympic multi-platform broadcasting rights to the global media company Discovery Communications, the owner of Eurosport, in a deal believed to be worth 1.3 billion euros.

DR ready to talk
DR, which normally shares the Olympic rights with pay-TV broadcaster TV2, a channel that is reportedly watched in 90 percent of Danish homes, has announced it expects to enter into a dialogue with Discovery, which has in turn said it plans to sell portions of the rights region by region.

DR noted it would discuss the rights to “various Olympic disciplines”, which could mean it will pick and choose which sports. Such a deal could lead to some sports being preferred to others, ultimately endangering their inclusion in future games as ratings become the all-important factor.

DR and TV2 co-hold the rights to broadcast the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Changing landscape
In many countries, the Olympics are considered a crown jewel sporting event that must be made available to viewers on free-to-air television, but the last two decades have seen swift changes with increasingly more events, including the World Cup, being made available to pay-TV broadcasters.

Nevertheless, with the major events like the World Cup, broadcasters must respect the wishes of major advertisers and often agree deals with free-to-air broadcasters offering less than the rest due to the much larger audiences they can guarantee.

 

 


 





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