The forthcoming Rio Games may become the last Olympics to be broadcast by Germany’s ARD and ZDF public network – according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily, the negotiations with the American media company Discovery Communications are on the verge of collapse. Jean-Briac Perrette, Discovery’s Vice-President International Business, told the newspaper: “After several months of negotiations I am astonished at the fundamental reluctance of the public service broadcasting companies. There are growing doubts as to how great their interest really is in the Olympic coverage”. At the same time, Perrette announced that Discovery would go it alone in Germany. “If no agreement is reached, then we will cover the Olympics 100 percent ourselves at Eurosport. We have already started to prepare for it”.
The Discovery Group last year acquired the European broadcasting rights for the four Olympics between 2018-2024 from the International Olympic Committee – for 1.3 billion Euros (approx 1.46 billion US$). The Americans thus surprisingly edged out the license fee-financed German networks ARD and ZDF. In June Discovery had won the bidding for the live broadcasting rights to matches in the Bundesliga from the 2017/18 season and announces that it will acquire more premium rights in sport. “We have the resources necessary to do this”, Perrette told the Frankfurter Allgemeine.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.