Sports marketing agency Sportfive has awarded the Flemish language media rights in Belgium for the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games to Vlaamse Radio-en Televisieomroeporganisatie NV van publiek (VRT).
Acting on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Sportfive has granted VRT the free-to-air TV internet rights for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi, while the broadcaster has also acquired the free-to-air TV, internet, mobile and radio rights for all events in Rio two years later.
Luc Van Langenhove, manager of VRT Sport, said: “VRT is very happy to extend its long-standing partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is proud to continue broadcasting the largest and most important sports event in the world.”
He added: “We consider the Olympics to be part of VRT's DNA, given that VRT has broadcast the Olympic Games for more than half a century, without interruption. VRT is looking forward to providing extensive and high quality coverage, and is confident that the Flemish public will enjoy Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 just as much, if not more, than in previous years.”
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Shaila-Ann Rao, chief executive of Sportfive International, said: “We are delighted to sign this deal with VRT in Belgium, a country with important Olympic roots, where Belgian athletes have participated at the Games for more than 100 years. We are confident that VRT will cover Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 extensively in the Flemish language for fans in Belgium, and thereby increase overall coverage in Belgium for both events through dual-language distribution.”
Sportfive’s acquisition of the media rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games in a total of 40 European territories marked the first time an agency had been granted the rights to sell Olympic broadcast rights.
The agency has a dedicated team working on the project, located in its international head office in Geneva, Switzerland, close to IOC headquarters in Lausanne.