BBC wins Olympic rights through 2020

Reuters reports that British broadcaster BBC has been awarded the Olympic broadcasting rights for their territory until 2020, keeping the world’s biggest multi-sport event on free-to-air television for at least another eight years, the IOC said on Wednesday.

“I’m delighted that the Olympic Games will continue to be broadcast exclusively on the BBC into the 2020s,” BBC Director-General Mark Thompson said in the statement. “It’s terrific news in the days before BBC Sport begins to cover the London 2012 Games and a tribute to the enduring partnership between the BBC and the Olympic Movement.”

The BBC also acquired the broadcast rights across all media platforms, including internet and mobile, for the Summer Games of Rio de Janeio 2016 and the Winter Olympics of Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018, the IOC said in a statement without providing any financial details of the deal.

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The BBC, funded by a licence fee levy on British households, plans to stream live coverage of every event from the London Games starting on July 27, something it has never done before.

The BBC has also come under fire for the size of its staff at this year’s Olympics. There will be 765 staff covering the Olympic games in London, with celebrity pundits such as Gary Lineker among hundreds involved in producing 2,500 hours of live coverage for the corporation.

The 765 BBC staff is an increase on the 493 people the broadcaster sent to the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

However, the corporation’s staff numbers are dwarfed by the 2,700 journalists flown to London by the US TV network NBC.

The broadcaster has covered every Games since London last hosted the Olympics in 1948.

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