(Reuters) -The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Monday it had awarded all media rights in Europe for the four Games from 2026-2032 to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Warner Bros. Discovery.
The two media bodies bid jointly for the rights across 49 territories for the Milan and Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics, the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Games, the 2030 Winter Games and 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
The agreement guarantees free-to-air coverage on television and digital platforms through the EBU’s network of public service broadcasters, including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The IOC said every EBU member will broadcast more than 200 hours of coverage of the Olympic Summer Games from 2026 and at least 100 hours of the Winter Games.
There will also be a broad range of radio coverage, live streaming and reporting across web, app and social media platforms.
“This deal is a game-changer for public service media and demonstrates the abiding strength and solidarity of our Union,” EBU President Delphine Ernotte Cunci said in a statement.
“Through its members, the EBU has the potential to reach over 1 billion viewers across Europe via linear and non-linear platforms.”
Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns and operates Eurosport, will continue to present “every moment” of the Games on its streaming and digital platforms and hold full pay-TV rights.
U.S.-based Discovery Communications in 2015 agreed to pay 1.3 billion euros ($1.41 billion) for the European rights to screen the Olympics from 2018 to 2024.
Warner Bros Discovery Inc was formed last year by the merger of AT&T Inc’s WarnerMedia unit and Discovery Inc.
“We are delighted to have reached a long-term agreement with two of the world’s leading media companies,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.
“It demonstrates the ongoing appeal of the Olympic Games across Europe.”
“As the IOC redistributes 90% of the revenues it generates, this long-term agreement also provides critical financial stability to the wider sporting movement and ultimately supports the athletes themselves.”
($1 = 0.9237 euros)
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; editing by Jason Neely and David Evans)