In the United Kingdom, the Olympic Games’ exclusive broadcasting rights belong to the BBC. However, after the upcoming London games, the BBC will have a fierce set of competitors – pay –TV companies, telecom providers, and more, the Daily Mail reported.
The government will review the situation later this year once the TV network has been fully switched from analogue to digital, according to the Drum. There are many more companies that could potentially launch a free-to-air channel distributed via Freeview, cable, satellite and the Internet, the Guardian noted.
In order to maximise revenue, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge told the Guardian “Everything is possible.” Though the BBC is protected by listed-events legislation that secures it free-to-air coverage, companies like Sky or BT could expect the change of legislation during a government review next year.
“We just launched a tender, because this is an obligation by the EU. It is open to everyone – to public companies, private companies, free-to-air, satellite, mobile, even the possibility to sell them to an agent company that buys the rights and sells them on. The deadline is 29 June and then we will enter into negotiations with different companies,” Rogge said.
The bids on Friday include the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, OnTheBoxnoted. Some potential bidders may have problems achieving the IOC’s requirement of delivering 200 hours free-to-air broadcasting and for the Winter Games 100 hours.
Rights to the summer Games were sold to Sky Italy, Rogge said. There’s an obligation to run 200 free-to-air hours for the Summer Games, and 100 for the Winter Games. Sky Italy didn’t have enough free-to-air time, but “teamed up with Rai, who will take care of the 200 hours. We have many countries where that is the case. In many countries in Europe there is a complementarity between pay television and public television.”
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