CBC claims gold: Broadcaster retains exclusive Olympic coverage rights

Apr 6 2022, 5:18 pm

The Olympic Games will hit at least three continents over the next decade, but Canada’s coverage is staying in one place thanks to CBC.Ā 

CBC has retained exclusive rights for the Olympics, including a possible home Games in Vancouver in 2030, the broadcaster announced Wednesday.

“It’s the biggest thing we do as a company. It draws the biggest audiences. It is one of the most relevant things we do that brings the country together,” Chris Wilson, executive director of CBC Sports told CBC’s website. “And so I really believe it just sort of cements, as part of our mandate, a really major programming pillar for the company as a whole.”

CBC and Radio-Canada announced a new partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which will feature exclusive broadcasting rights for the 2024 Paris Olympics, 2026 Milano Cortina Games, 2028 Los Angeles Games, and 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

It’ll also include the 2030 Winter Games in a location to be determined. Vancouver is exploring the possibility of a bid to host the Olympics in 2030.Ā 

Discussions for CBC to retain rights to the Olympics, according to Wilson, have been ongoing for a “long time” before finally becoming official.Ā 

“It was us talking with the IOC and expressing interest to continue and them realizing that we’re a committed partner that doesn’t just bring light to the Olympic movement for 17 days every two years,” Wilson said.

In partnership, CBC will broadcast at least 200 hours of the Summer Games and 100 hours of the Winter Games on free television.Ā 

The rights fees are not disclosed.Ā 

ā€œWe are thrilled that the CBC and Radio-Canada are going to be continuing their long tradition of being Canadaā€™s official Olympic broadcaster until 2032,ā€ David Shoemaker, CEO and Secretary General of the Canadian Olympic Committee, said in a release.

ā€œMost recently, CBC and Radio Canadaā€™s incredible work at both Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 helped inspire our nation and bring Canadians together during an incredibly difficult time. We look forward to working with them to bring the excitement, action, and personal stories that make the Olympic Games so unique to all Canadians for the next decade.ā€

With the deal, CBC and Radio-Canada will have the option of sub-licensing coverage — as it did with Sportsnet and TSN for the 2020 Tokyo Games and 2022 Beijing Games.Ā 

In total, 70% of Canadians tuned into the Beijing Games, and 74% watched the Tokyo Olympics.

“The challenge for us will be to look with fresh eyes at what we do to make Canadians not only aware of the Olympics, but make sure that they are excited for them and aware of the athletes before,” Wilson said.

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

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