Date: 18.07.2012Last updated: 18.07.2012 at 12.41

Category: Sport

The BBC has today announced that it has signed a deal with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) for the rights to cover the next four Olympic Games. The deal will include exclusive TV, radio and digital rights for Sochi 2014, Rio 2016, Pyeongchang 2018 as well as the 2020 Games.

Mark Thompson, Director-General, BBC said: "I'm delighted that the Olympic Games will continue to be broadcast exclusively on the BBC into the 2020s. It's terrific news in the days before BBC Sport begins to cover the London 2012 Games and a tribute to the enduring partnership between the BBC and the Olympic movement."

Barbara Slater, Director, BBC Sport, said: “This news will come as a massive boost to our teams who are about to undertake our most ambitious sports broadcast ever at the biggest sporting event in our country’s history. The Olympic Games has always been significant as an event that brings the nation together as well as a catalyst for broadcasting innovation and we’re delighted that BBC Sport can now continue to deliver on these traditions through to 2020.”

Dominic Coles, COO 2012 Olympics, who negotiated the deal, said: "It's vital that big national and international events like the Olympic Games remain free-to-air where they can be watched by the greatest number of people. We're delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with the Olympics and the IOC, adding to BBC Sport's outstanding rights portfolio and firmly establishing the BBC as the home of major sporting events that unite the nation and this deal demonstrates that BBC Sport remains a force in sports broadcasting.”

Rio 2016 and the 2020 Olympics will represent the 16th and 17th Summer Olympic Games broadcast by the BBC, a sequence that began with the 1948 Games in London and one that has run unbroken since the 1960 Games in Rome, Italy.

In total the BBC will have broadcast 33 Olympic Games after the 2020 Games, including the 16 Winter Olympics since Squaw Valley, California, USA, also in 1960.

At the London 2012 Olympic Games, for the first time, the BBC will be providing live coverage of every Olympic Sport from every venue throughout the day. This will amount to around 2,500 hours of live Olympic sporting action, over 1,000 hours more than Beijing 2008.

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I'm delighted that the Olympic Games will continue to be broadcast exclusively on the BBC into the 2020s"

Mark Thompson, Director-General, BBC

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