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ARD, ZDF seal Olympic sublicensing deal

German public-service broadcasters ARD and ZDF have agreed a sublicensing deal with media company Discovery Communications for live and highlights coverage of the Olympic Games through to 2024.

As reported by TV Sports Markets last month, the deal is a major milestone for Discovery, and was agreed after a long negotiation process.

The agreement covers the 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea; the 2020 summer Games in Tokyo, Japan; the 2022 winter Games in Beijing, China; and the 2024 summer Olympics, which are set to be awarded to the French capital of Paris next month.

Free-to-air coverage of the events will alternate daily between ARD and ZDF.

Discovery has rights for the Games across the majority of European territories, including Germany, from 2018 to 2024. Discovery-owned sports broadcaster Eurosport’s coverage will be available in Germany via free-to-air television and on mobile devices.

For Pyeongchang 2018, ARD and ZDF will present a wide selection of free-to-air coverage on television and digital simulcast, as well as three additional feeds of live sport. Eurosport will show free-to-air coverage on Eurosport 1 as a dedicated Games channel, with the broadcaster to hold rights to air every moment of the Games either on television or via digital platforms.

Eurosport will retain exclusivity for prime-time highlights programming during Pyeongchang 2018. Snowboarding, figure skating and ice hockey – excluding German team matches and finals – will also be live and exclusive on Eurosport.

The sublicensing agreement is subject to approval by Germany’s broadcasting councils.