Eurosport buys Olympics broadcasting rights

<p>The broadcaster has signed a €1.3 billion (£922 million) deal for the rights.</p>

Eurosport, a pan-European television sports network has bought the rights to show the Olympics beginning in 2018.

The network, which is co-operated by French TF1 Group and Discovery Communications, paid €1.3 billion (£922 million) for the broadcasting rights. It may also mean that the BBC could lose coverage of the four-yearly event from 2022.

However, Discovery may lease back some of the rights in order to meet broadcasting regulations.

Currently, broadcasting rights for Europe are split up by country. The deal will become effective for most of Europe in 2018 and in France and the UK from 2022.

Because Ofcom lists the Olympics as a category A event, live coverage must be made available to free-to-air channels. Since Eurosport does not currently have such a channel, it will need to either acquire one or license coverage to another broadcaster.

In a statement, Discovery said it would broadcast a minimum of 200 hours of the Olympic Games and 100 hours of the Olympic Winter Games on free-to-air television.

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, said: "The revenue generated from this long-term partnership will be redistributed by the IOC across the Olympic Movement to support the development of sport around the world."

The next summer Olympics takes place in 2016 and will be held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The 2020 event will take place in Tokyo, Japan.

Stock prices drop

Although the Olympic deal is good news for the company, Eurosport – along with other big European entertainment companies – saw market prices drop in early trading on Monday (June 29th) due to ongoing Greek debt crisis.

A series of developments over the weekend pushed the country closer to a possible exit from the euro zone and bailout talks had a knock-on effect across the markets.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 2.3 per cent around 9:00 BST, while Spain's IPEZX 35 and Italy's FTSE MIB were also down more than 3.5 per cent.

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