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ERT commits to various EBU sports rights acquisitions

Greek public broadcaster ERT has signed up to support a wide range of sports properties acquired by the European Broadcasting Union, the umbrella body of public broadcasters in Europe.

ERT said that the agreement, which runs from 2020 to 2024, will afford it rights to 38 events across athletics, cycling, diving, golf, gymnastics, rowing, swimming, triathlon and water polo. Rights have also been secured to the 2020 Paralympic Games, ERT said.

The rights included are chiefly European or World Championships in different sports.

ERT, an EBU member, said: “It strengthens and confirms the role of public television in the coverage of major sporting events and strengthens the television programme with high-definition broadcasts from ERT Sports.”

The agreement underlines the “rational acquisition” of sports rights, according to ERT.

The acquisition marks a return to form for ERT, which has reined its spending on sports properties in considerably since the elections in Greece last July.

The rise to power of the New Democracy party saw significant reductions on ERT’s government funding. This has seen it renegotiate existing football rights deals as well as restructure its sporting output in recent months.

At the start of the year, details emerged of a major revamp of ERT’s output, including the shifting of top-tier sporting properties to the flagship ERT1 channel as part of a wider reshuffle. Constantine Zoulas, ERT chair, stated that properties such as the Olympic Games and Greek national team football matches would be broadcast on the channel and in high definition.