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Discovery Selling Mobile TV Olympic Rights in Europe

Discovery Communications and its Eurosport unit, which have the European rights to the Olympics through 2024, are looking to sell the mobile rights to the Olympic Games to cell phone companies.

By becoming the Official Mobile Broadcaster, mobile providers would get the exclusive opportunity to co-brand with the Olympic rings and offer customers anytime access to Olympic events, Discovery said.

The move represents another way Discovery is looking to get a return on its big sports investment. It has already sold broadcast rights to a number of TV companies in Europe.

Mobile providers would be able to create a branded channel to feature the best of the Olympics, including real-time highlights and news, in addition to making content available on demand.

“For more than 30 years, Discovery has worked with the best partners to provide premium video content for every person, on every platform,” JB Perrette, CEO of Discovery Networks International, said in a release. “Sports are particularly powerful in a mobile environment as we are witnessing with the growth of our direct-to-consumer sports streaming service, Eurosport Player. We are excited to form new partnerships with mobile operators to make the Olympic Games more accessible and engaging for a mobile-first audience.”

Discovery announced its plans at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Discovery says its Eurosport Player, which streams video, had a record month for subscribers in January and continues to see double-digit growth.

(Photo via Pabak Sarkar's Flickr. Image taken on Feb. 15, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 9x16 aspect ratio.)

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.