The contract for the Olympic broadcast rights for Europe for the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the Games of the XXX Olympiad in 2012 was officially ratified by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) during its General Assembly.
The agreement, announced recently by the IOC (which covers 51 countries, excluding Italy, and a wide range of media categories, including for the first time multi-media and mobile telephony), is valued at €614 million (US$746 million) an increase of around 40% from the previous contract. With respect to Italy, the IOC will commence direct negotiations with different broadcasters and media groups in due course.
In addition to the contract value, the EBU and its members have committed to major additional Olympic programming and promotional efforts to support the Olympic brand and promotion of the Olympic ideal outside Games time which the IOC values at a further €125 million.
Building on the successful conclusion of the US Olympic Broadcast negotiations in June of last year, which were awarded to General Electric and NBC for a total package of US$2,201 billion and with many important territories still to be negotiated, the European contract puts the IOC on track to reach financing of over US$3billion, monies that it will then redistribute to the world of sport, via the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games, the National Olympic Committees and the International Federations.
Commenting on the awarding of the European TV rights, IOC President Jacques ROGGE said: "The IOC is delighted to confirm the signature by the EBU of the contract for broadcast and new media rights to the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games. The EBU's offer recognises the ever-growing value and significance of the Games and not only guarantees the widest coverage of the Olympic Games throughout the European territory but also ensures the promotion of the Olympic values on an on-going basis, allowing the IOC to fulfil its mission as laid out in the Olympic Charter. Maintaining the widest possible coverage of the Games is fundamental to the IOC. The agreement will play an important role in providing the IOC with the financial resources to continue its support for Organising Committees of the Olympic Games, National Olympic Committees and International Federations".
"I would like to thank all bidders for their participation in this open and transparent negotiation process and to their continued interest in the Olympic Movement. I would also like to give special thanks to IOC Vice-President Thomas BACH who has been key to the successful conclusion of this process, and to Michael PAYNE, Director of Global Broadcast and Media Rights, and media consultant Bernd SCHIPHORST who advised Dr Bach",