IOC sells TV rights in China to CCTV for $160 million

The International Olympic Committee sold its TV rights in China for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics to CCTV for an estimated $160 million, a sum that represents a more than 800 percent increase from what the broadcaster paid for the 2006 and 2008 Games.

The increase affirms the IOC’s decision in 2009 to begin selling rights on a country-by-country basis across Asia. The move was designed to increase rights fees from individual countries like China, and it’s succeeded in doing that.
For the 2006 and 2008 Olympics, the IOC sold the rights to the Asian Broadcasting Union, a consortium of broadcasters from Japan, China and other markets, for a mere $17.5 million. In 2009, it sold the rights in China alone to CCTV for a reported $100 million. Sources familiar with CCTV’s deal for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics pegged it at $160 million.

The deal, which was announced Saturday, will see CCTV retain the Olympic rights across linear, cable, digital and mobile platforms. It also gets the rights to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, in 2014 and the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2016 in Lillehammer, Norway.

In a statement, IOC Executive Board member Richard Carrión, who led the negotiations, said: “CCTV has an unparalleled reach within China, and has promoted the Olympic Games, sport and the Olympic values to a Chinese audience for many years. We are delighted that we will be able to count on their support into the future.”

The deal is the second one the IOC has announced around the London Games. The organization previously announced a nearly $100 million rights deal with the BBC for 2014-2020 Olympics in the U.K.

The IOC was paid $3.9 billion for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics. It has secured $3.7 billion in TV rights sales for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics, but it still has several territories to sell.

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