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BBC secures 2022 and 2024 Olympic coverage

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Coverage of the Olympic Games is set to remain on the BBC until 2024 after the corporation struck an exclusive sub-license deal with Discovery Communications.

The move ensures that all of the action from the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and the 2024 summer Games will be available to the public via the free-to-air broadcaster.

Last June, US-based Discovery acquired the rights to the flagship event for 50 countries and territories in Europe for the 2018 Winter Games through to the 2024 Games, although the UK rights were included for only 2022 and 2024 as the BBC had already secured the 2018 and 2020 rights.

However, the sub license deal means that at least the next five Games will be shown on the BBC. In return the corporation has sub-licensed the exclusive pay-TV rights in the UK for the 2018 and 2020 Games back to Discovery.

While Discovery had a number of potential free-to-air partners to broadcast the games, the move to sub-license to the BBC will give the event the biggest reach with no imperative for advertising. The Olympics Games is one of the sporting events preserved by the Crown Jewels rule, meaning that it must be shown on free-to-air television.

The 2012 Olympics in London was watched by more than 50m people in the UK.

The deal will be welcomed by the BBC, which has had to lose coverage of sporting events such as The Open golf tournament and half of the Six Nations rugby competition as its budget is tightened.

“For many, the BBC has been their stadium for Olympic coverage. It’s an event that unites the nation like no other,” said BBC director general Tony Hall. “While the BBC has had to take some tough financial decisions, this partnership underlines our commitment to making world-class sport available to all.”

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Coverage of the Olympic Games is set to remain on the BBC until 2024 after the corporation struck an exclusive sub-license deal with Discovery Communications.
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Around 50m tuned in to the BBC to watch the 2012 London Olympic Games
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