CBC to broadcast 2018, 2020 Olympics with Bell, Rogers

Dec 19 2017, 8:48 pm

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has struck a deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to broadcast the 2020 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea and the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

It is a continuation of the CBC’s long-running role as Canada’s Olympic Broadcaster, although the deal includes partnerships with Bell’s TSN and Rogers Sportsnet. CBC will air the most popular events while TSN and Sportsnet will carry mostly second tier events.

Canada’s television networks have previously joined forces to broadcast the Olympics, but this is the first time all three major broadcasters will be involved due to the changing nature of Olympic coverage and the Canadian television industry. None of the broadcasters are willing to tackle the major event and pay the IOC’s high fees alone.

Bell and Rogers paid the $153-million to broadcast Vancouver 2010 and London 2012, but they opted not to renew their contract after losing money. After a two-game absence, in 2012 the CBC formed a partnership with Bell and acquired the rights for the 2014 and 2016 Games – a deal reportedly worth between $75-million to $80-million.

This is CBC’s only win after numerous recent setbacks and even a public relations disaster with one of its personalities.

Continuing cuts in federal subsidies have led to a $130-million shortfall, forcing the public broadcaster to reduce 657 jobs. All of this includes shrinking its sports team size from 90 to 38, rendering the network incapable of broadcasting major and professional sporting events on its own.

By 2020, it is expected that between 1,000 to 1,5000 jobs will be slashed from the network.

The public broadcaster also lost the NHL television rights after Rogers secured a $5.2-billion deal over a 12 year span. The CBC will also discontinue its broadcasts of the World Cup after Bell signed a contract with FIFA to broadcast all of its events from 2015 to 2022.

What are your thoughts on the future of the CBC and its relevance in Canadian broadcasting and culture? Let us know by commenting below.


Feature Image: Olympic flag via Shutterstock

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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