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BBC buys rights to 4 Olympic Games through 2020

Updated July 18, 2012

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The IOC sold British rights for the next four Olympic Games to state broadcaster the BBC, lifting European broadcast earnings above $1 billion for the next four-year commercial cycle.

The deal covers the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games and the 2020 Summer Games. The hosts for the 2020 Olympics will be chosen in September 2013.

The BBC has had exclusive rights to broadcast each Olympic Games free-to-air since 1960.

The International Olympic Committee did not disclose the value of the contract with the BBC that was announced on Wednesday, just days before the start of the London Olympics.

IOC vice president Thomas Bach said the British deal concluded its European rights business for the 2013-16 Olympic cycle comprising of the Sochi and Rio Games.

The Olympic body has earned more than $1 billion from the sales, Bach said.

The British deal is the latest long-term contract signed by the IOC in most lucrative markets.

NBC paid $4.38 billion last year to extend its rights through 2020.

South Korea's SBS secured Korean rights until 2024 in a deal struck days before Pyeongchang was awarded hosting rights to the 2018 Winter Games host last year.

Also last year, France Televisions bought a four-games package though 2020, and German rights for 2014-16 went to ARD and ZDF.

The IOC awarded European rights to 40 medium and small-market countries for Sochi and Rio to the Sportfive marketing agency. The deal was worth $342 million.

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