BBC Retains Olympic TV Rights; Kickboxing Covets Spot in Games

(ATR) BBC gets rights to broadcast four more Games in U.K. ... London revenues could be at an all-time high ... Governing body submits kickboxing for IOC review ... More inside this Olympic Newsdesk ...

BBC Keeps Games Through 2020

The IOC has granted the BBC rights to broadcast the next four Olympic Games.

An agreement was reached Wednesday that the British broadcaster would provide coverage of both the Summer and Winter Olympics up to and including 2020.

The new deal means that the BBC has an unbroken run of broadcasting the Olympics going back to the 1960 Games in Rome.

The deal is believed to be worth $94 million, which would mean that the IOC has now raised more than $1 billion from rights negotiations in Europe alone.

The BBC will be providing its largest ever coverage of the Olympics during the 19 days of London 2012 with 24 Olympic channels coming out of their broadcast center.

Around 2,500 hours of live sporting action will be broadcast from every Olympic event – 1,000 more hours than four years ago in Beijing.

BBC director general Mark Thompson said the deal was "terrific news." He added: "I'm delighted that the Olympic Games will continue to be broadcast exclusively on the BBC into the 2020s.

"It's a tribute to the enduring partnership between the BBC and the Olympic Movement."

The first Olympics to be broadcast on the BBC were the London 1948 Games – and after the BBC provides coverage for the London Games this year, the network will move on to Sochi for the Winter Olympics less than 18 months later.

BBC will then cover Rio 2016, before returning to winter Olympic action for Pyeongchang 2018, and back to the Summer Games in 2020 – which will be in either Istanbul, Madrid or Tokyo.

London 2012 to Break Revenue Barrier

A 52 percent increase in the value of Olympic media rights could break the $8 billion commercial revenue barrier for the first time in years, according to Sportcal.

The sports marketing magazine attributes the increased revenue to several factors including the maturing of new television markets around the world, increased competition in already mature television markets and the convenience of the London time zone to more viewers.

Media rights for the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games have brought in $3.91 billion compared to the $2.57 billion achieved during the previous four-year cycle.

Revenue from media rights, TOP sponsorship and both the Vancouver and London commercial programs are set to make the present Olympic cycle worth more than $8 billion.

Kickboxing Hopes to Join Olympics

In an effort to make kickboxing an Olympic sport, the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations recently submitted the combat sport to the IOC for review.

The announcement was made by KICK International, the designated governing body for kickboxing in the U.S. just weeks before the start of the national 2012 Tournament of Champions.

"As interest in kickboxing continues to grow both in the United States and around the world, we at KICK International believe it is time take the next step for the good of our athletes and the sport in general," KICK International Board president Frank Babcock said.

The Tournament of Champions will be held in August and will determine which kickboxers will represent Team USA in international events such as the Pan-American Championships and Ireland Open.

Written by Hannah Reid and Christian Radnedge .

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