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Italian public service broadcaster Rai secures Olympics media rights deal until 2032

Published: Updated: 07:20, 25 May 2023
Warner Bros Discovery and European Broadcasting Union currently hold the Olympic media rights in Europe

Italian public service broadcaster Rai has struck a deal for the media rights of the summer and Winter Olympics until 2032.

Rai agreed to a sub-licensing deal with Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) and European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The WBD and EBU earlier this year submitted a joint bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that saw them gain media rights for 49 territories in Europe, excluding Russia and Belarus, for the next four games.

WBD already has a €1.3 billion deal in place with the IOC since 2018 until 2024. During this period, WBD also agreed on numerous sub-licensing deals with the EBU. That being said, WBD will retain a chunk of the coverage of the Olympic games with the EBU broadcasters restricted by the number of hours they can air the games, until the end of the current deal between WBD and IOC. This agreement will see every EBU broadcaster air more than 200 hours of the Summer Games and at least 100 hours of the Winter Games. WBD will retain the full coverage of its Eurosport group of channels and its steaming platforms.

Rai will also telecast 360 hours of the 2024 Paris Olympics due to an existing agreement with WBD.

It is interesting to note that over the past three editions of the Games, WBD has struck deals with almost 45 FTA broadcasters and numerous EBU subsidiaries.

The current deal with Rai will see the Italian broadcasting service secure Free-To-Air (FTA) TV and digital rights while also holding the non-exclusive radio rights for the 2026 Milano-Cortina Winter Olympics. The agreement will also cover the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, the 2030 Winter Games, and the 2028 Los Angeles Games. 

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