The BBC has announced a significant rights deal that secures the future of the Olympic Games on the BBC up to and including 2032, ensuring the events remain free-to-air for the widest possible audience.
In a new joint partnership with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), the BBC will bring comprehensive coverage of the Olympic Games and all the major moments on TV, radio, online and digital to audiences across the UK.
The Olympic Games are hugely popular with audiences and BBC Sport’s award-winning coverage of Tokyo 2020 saw a record-breaking 104 million requests to watch the action online throughout the duration of the competition.
There was 24/7 live and on demand content on iPlayer and the BBC Sport website with BBC One showing more hours of coverage than ever before meaning that 36.4 million watched Tokyo 2020 on BBC TV, while 1.7 million tuned in to 5 Live on BBC Sounds.
This new agreement secures the same package of rights for the BBC to continue offering extensive live and on demand coverage of the Olympic Games across all broadcast platforms up to and including the Olympic Games Brisbane 2032.
The partnership was agreed following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) launch of a competitive tender. The EBU and Warner Bros. Discovery presented a common project to acquire all media rights across 49 territories in Europe for the XXV Olympic Winter Games in Milano Cortina in 2026, the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad Los Angeles 2028, the XXVI Olympic Winter Games in 2030, and the Games of the XXXV Olympiad Brisbane 2032.
The BBC’s existing agreement includes TV, radio and digital rights for the XXXIII Olympiad Paris 2024.
Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, says: “The Olympic Games is a truly special event - thrilling and inspiring in equal measure - I’m delighted it will be on free-to-air for the UK public. I know the BBC will do a fantastic job bringing all the action and analysis to the public.”
Barbara Slater, Director BBC Sport, says: “This partnership ensures that audiences in the UK will continue to have free-to-air access to the Olympic Games for the next decade. The BBC’s ability to bring the nation together is second to none and this new deal provides sports fans a comprehensive, compelling live and on demand offer.”
EBU Director General, Noel Curran says: “We are delighted to have secured the Olympic Games rights on behalf of the BBC and our family of public service media Members. This deal demonstrates the continued strength of public service broadcasters on the global stage of sport.
“Sport should be for everyone, and we need public service media to bring all audiences together to enjoy the big national moments, inspire the next generation of athletes and grow fanbases for new and emerging sports.
“By working together, public service broadcasters have the potential to bring the Olympic Games to over 1 billion people across the continent free-to-air. No other media brand can guarantee so much multi-platform exposure to so many people. And that’s why I’m delighted to welcome this partnership which will ensure the Olympics are available to the widest possible audience across Europe.”