The International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded broadcast rights to a South Korean television network Wednesday in a four-games deal worth 72.5 million US dollars (56.8 million euros).
The rights for the Olympics of 2010 through 2016 were sold to SBS, a privately-owned commercial network, in a package that covers both South Korea and DPR Korea for the first time.
The deal is valued at 33 million dollars (25.8 million euros) for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and US39.5 million dollars (30.95 million euros) for the 2014 and 2016 games, whose venues have yet to be decided.
The IOC said SBS will have all rights on any audiovisual medium in DPR Korea and South Korea.
The deal represents a 109 percent increase from the current rights agreement with the Korean Pool for the 2002-2008 period. South Korean media paid US$18.4 million for the 2006 and 2008 Olympics.
The new agreement ensures that 250 hours of the Summer Games and 150 hours of the Winter Games are broadcast on Korean free-to-air channels, along with a daily highlights program shown in prime time.
"(South) Korea is arguably the world's most advanced media market in terms of broadband penetration and early adoption of new technologies," said IOC executive board member Richard Carrion, who led the rights negotiations.
"This new contract with SBS will allow the deployment of a full spectrum of new media rights as well as extending the coverage of Olympic Games into North Korea (DPR Korea)."