Australia's Seven signs three-Olympics deal

Last updated 10:12 05/08/2014

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Seven Network secured the Australian broadcast rights to the next three Olympics on Monday, the latest long-term television deal struck by the IOC.

The IOC said Seven acquired the rights on all media platforms to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Financial terms were not announced, but Australian media have said the deal was worth the equivalent of US$186 million (NZ$218m).   

The International Olympic Committee said the agreement included an ''unprecedented commitment'' by Seven to support the IOC's goals across its television network, newspapers, magazines and online media. That included promoting Olympic sports, health, education and youth sport.

Seven, which first broadcast the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, last covered the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

''The IOC enjoys long-term partnerships and this agreement is something of a homecoming between us and Seven,'' IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement.

''Seven has made a concrete commitment to help promote the Olympic movement and the Olympic values, not only during each edition of the games, but all year round, and this was an important consideration in our decision making.''

Seven chairman Kerry Stokes cited a ''long and deep partnership'' with the IOC since the Melbourne Games.

''We are looking forward to celebrating our five decades association with the Olympics in Rio and to taking this partnership to a new level over the coming decade,'' he said.

The Ten and Nine networks also had expressed interest in doing a deal with the IOC, but reportedly pulled out because of concerns about high costs and an unfavorable time zone in Rio.

Seven had lost the rights to the Nine Network after two decades as the home of the Olympics in Australia. Nine and pay TV operator Foxtel paid a reported US$100m (NZ$117m) for the rights to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2012 London Olympics. Ten broadcast this year's Winter Games in Sochi.

Bach, who was elected IOC president in September, is pushing for long-term deals to bolster the Olympic body's financial stability.

In May, NBC signed a record US$7.75 billion (NZ$9.1b) deal to extend its US broadcast rights deal through 2032.

In June, a consortium bought the Japanese broadcast rights through 2024 in a four-games deal worth US$1b (NZ$1.17b).

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- AP

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