ARD and ZDF confident of retaining Paralympic rights

German public-service broadcasters ARD and ZDF have said they are confident they will retain rights to the Paralympic Games after international sports broadcaster Eurosport on Monday confirmed it will be the exclusive home of the Olympic Games in the country from 2018 to 2024.

Monday’s announcement came amid question marks in recent months surrounding the future of Olympic Games rights in Germany. ARD and ZDF were in talks with Eurosport’s parent company, Discovery Communications, over a sublicensing deal for rights covering the Olympic Games in 2018 and 2020. However, the fee for such rights was said to be a sticking point.

In the wake of Eurosport’s announcement, ARD and ZDF have now moved to state their confidence that they will continue to air the Paralympic Games. ZDF sports director Dieter Gruschwitz told German news agency DPA: “ZDF, together with ARD, has made a clear commitment to the continuation of the Paralympics coverage. The rights are currently being negotiated through the EBU (European Broadcasting Union).”

ARD sports coordinator Axel Balkausky told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: “We have made an offer. We are confident that we will also get the rights, which are not with the IOC (International Olympic Committee). I'm not sure whether Eurosport has a serious interest in the Paralympics.”