Canada’s Olympic broadcasting gang is staying together through 2020.
The same CBC-led trio of broadcasters who combined in 2014 in Sochi to provide unprecedented Olympic coverage will work together again for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games.
The International Olympic Committee Tuesday announced that CBC/Radio-Canada has been awarded the Canadian broadcast rights for ’18 and ’20, and the public broadcaster will work with Rogers Media and Bell Media to provide Canadians with full access to the Olympics. The trio partnered to make Sochi the most watched Games in history.
“This is what Canadians have come to expect, and in fact you need this many platforms to be able to satisfy the consumer demand for the Olympics,” said Rogers Media president, Keith Pelley. “I don’t think it would be possible now for one broadcaster to be able to quench the thirst of what is needed as far as the consumer demand for Olympic broadcasting, because there is so much happening.”
Cable and Internet subscribers with access to CBC, Sportsnet and TSN will essentially be able to watch every event live.
CBC/Radio-Canada president Hubert Lacroix noted that, in a conversation with members of the International Olympic Committee, he was told Canada’s coverage was “the most liked of all the countries in the world.”
As part of the broadcast relationship between CBC/Radio-Canada and Rogers Media, Sportsnet will air live Olympic Games coverage, with highlights available on Sportsnet Central, Sportsnet.ca and Sportsnet radio.
“The Olympic Games have a remarkable way of galvanizing the country. It’s compelling content at its finest, and delivers on our strategy of offering premium content on multiple platforms,” said Pelley. “We have a strong roster of passionate sports experts — both in front of and behind the camera — who have vast experience in delivering world-class sports content. We are enjoying a terrific partnership with the CBC, and are pleased that Sportsnet will continue its rich history of being an Olympic broadcaster and delivering the Games to Canadians.”
Pelley also addressed the possibility of NHLers in future Winter Olympics. “You have to look at the Olympic Games with or without the NHL players in it,” he said. “That is a decision that we don’t control, we can’t influence. That’s a decision from the National Hockey League and the NHLPA.”
CBC’s executive director of sports properties and general manager of Olympics, Jeffrey Orridge, said the public broadcaster will likely take the top tier events, but wouldn’t say how much the deal cost, or if it was more than the current Olympic broadcast deal.