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Canal+ reportedly selling Olympics rights to Discovery

Canal+ is selling its broadcast rights to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to Discovery for transmission on Eurosport, according to French sports daily L’Équipe.

According to the sports paper, Canal+-owner Vivendi has decided to sell its pay TV rights to the competition to avoid paying expensive production costs and creating additional channels to air the event.

Discovery holds the pay TV rights to the Paris 2024 Olympics through the wide-ranging deal it struck with the International Olympic Committee in 2015. The rights to the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2020 Olympics in France were already held by France Télévisions. However, the pubcaster also sublicensed the pay TV rights to the 2016 Rio Games and 2020 Tokyo Games to Canal+ in 2015.

Canal+ is under pressure to control costs, and is also keen to focus its efforts on winning or retaining domestic and international football rights that can drive subscriptions, where it has faced intense competition, most recently from Spain’s Mediapro, which secured rights to France’s Ligue 1 in competition with the pay TV service.

Earlier this year, Discovery sublicensed the free-to-air rights to the Beiing Winter Olympics in 2022 and the Paris 2024 Olympics to France Télévisions.