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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded broadcast rights for the Olympic Games in 2010 and 2012 to ESPN in South America it was announced today. The deal marks the first time that ESPN will televise the Olympic Games to Spanish-speaking fans in the region.

ESPN will acquire free-to-air television and radio broadcast rights in Argentina for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games and the London 2012 Olympic Games, including minimum free-to-air exposure guarantees; pay television rights to air the Olympic Games on cable and satellite platforms in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay for the same period, and satellite-only television rights in Venezuela for the same period.

IOC President Jacques Rogge said “The popularity of the Olympic Games in South America is growing rapidly, and we want to ensure that audiences in the region have the best possible broadcast experience. We are delighted to announce this agreement with ESPN International and look forward to working with them.”

“This is a tremendous milestone for ESPN’s business in South America,” said Russell Wolff, executive vice president and managing director, ESPN International.  “This agreement expands our relationship with the IOC and adds the Olympic Games to the schedule of world class events we cover.  The Olympic Games are one the world’s most inspiring events and we are very excited to bring it to sports fans around South America.

IOC Executive Board member Richard Carrión, who led the negotiations, said, “ESPN will provide unprecedented levels of coverage of the Olympic Games, which is great news for sports fans in South America. We would like to thank ESPN for their commitment to the Olympic Movement.”

“The scope of this agreement offers us with a tremendous opportunity to serve sports fans in South America,” said Tim Bunnell, senior vice president, programming and marketing, ESPN International.  “The Olympic Games are at the pinnacle of all sporting events and I am pleased that ESPN can utilize and leverage its platforms to showcase an event of this magnitude to fans in South America.”

According to the agreement, ESPN International will televise the Olympic Games on its multiple networks, ESPN, ESPN+, ESPN HD and ESPN Radio in Argentina, and broadcast live coverage on its radio platforms in those countries. 

Launched in 1989, ESPN’s pan-regional Latin America network transmits in Spanish, Portuguese, and English to 42 countries and territories. In addition to ESPN, ESPN also offers regional networks ESPN+, ESPN 2 (Mexico and the northern cone); ESPN Brasil; and ESPN2 Caribbean (serving English-speaking fans). In April 2009, ESPN launched ESPN HD in Brazil, the company’s first channel available in HD in the region. 


About ESPN International

ESPN International is a division of ESPN, Inc.  ESPN International has grown to include ownership — in whole or in part — of 46 television networks outside of the United States, as well as a variety of brand extension businesses, which allow ESPN to reach fans in over 200 countries and territories. ESPN International business entities include television, radio, print, internet, broadband, wireless, consumer products, and event management. ESPN International and its holdings maintain offices or production facilities in key locations around the world including Bangalore, Beijing, Buenos

Aires, Delhi, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, Miami, Montpellier, Mumbai, Paris, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taiwan, and Toronto. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN. The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with four business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment and consumer products.  


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