ESPN Scores Rights to Broadcast Olympics in South America

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND: ESPN has bought the South American broadcast rights to the Vancouver and London Olympic Games, press reports indicate. The deal was announced today by the International Olympic Committee. The price paid was not disclosed, and it excludes Brazil.

ESPN won the rights over the Iberoamericana TV Organization, which has handled the South American rights since 1992. That organization was said to have paid $29.75 million for the 2006 Turn and the 2008 Beijing Games.

ESPN’s rights cover free and pay-TV in Argentina, and pay TV in several other countries, as well as satellite-only rights in Venezuala.

The Vancouver Games are scheduled for mid-February, 2010; the London Games will be played in 2012.

More on the Vancouver Games:
June 23, 2009: “NBC Takes Aim at Olympics Piracy”
NBC Universal is lining up lawyers to fight any copyright violations of its planned coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Concerns were fired when Canadian copyright law landed the country on a U.S. Trade Representative priority watch list.