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BBC retains Olympics coverage

The BBC has secured the rights for the summer and winter Olympics up to and including 2024

The BBC has secured the rights for the summer and winter Olympics up to and including 2024.

The corporation will broadcast the next five Olympics via television, radio and online.

The deal means the Olympics will remain free-to-view until 2024.

“The Olympic Games is one of the nation’s most treasured sporting events,” said Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport.

“This is an extensive package of rights that ensures we can offer the best of the Games, across TV, radio, online and digital, maximising the reach and impact of the BBC.

“This ground-breaking partnership also shows how the BBC can collaborate and work with others to continue to bring the very best in sport to licence fee payers.”

The BBC were set to lose their hold on Olympic rights from 2020 after the International Olympic Committee agreed a £920 million pan-European deal with Discovery, the US broadcaster that owns Eurosport, in June last year.

However, the broadcasters have now agreed an ‘innovative’ partnership which ensures the BBC will broadcast the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, as well as the summer games two years later.

David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications, said, “For 30 years, our two organisations have charted new frontiers with co-production partnerships in factual and natural history programming.

“Now we join together once again to bring the most compelling stories of human ambition, sacrifice and achievement to people across the UK.”

The next four Olympics will take place in Rio de Janeiro (2016), Pyeongchang (2018), Tokyo (2020) and Beijing (2022). The 2024 venue is yet to be decided.

The 2012 Games in London were watched on the BBC by more than 50 million people in the United Kingdom.

Seven million visited the BBC website each day, which received 111 million requests for video.

As part of the agreement, Discovery will sub-license from the BBC exclusive pay-TV rights to the 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games.

“The BBC prides itself on bringing the biggest sporting moments to the public,” said Tony Hall, director general of the BBC.

“I’m delighted that through our new partnership with Discovery, the BBC will continue to carry the torch for great sporting coverage right through to the 2024 Games.

“While the BBC has had to take some tough financial decisions, this partnership underlines our commitment to making world class sport available to all.”