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VRT picks up sublicensed Olympics rights in Belgium

Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium celebrates winning gold in Women's Heptathlon at Rio 2016 (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Flemish-language public broadcaster VRT has agreed a sublicensing deal with US media group Discovery for exclusive, free-to-air rights in the Flanders region of Belgium to the 2022-2024 Olympic Games cycle, SportBusiness understands.

The inventory includes the 2022 Beijing winter Games and the 2024 Paris summer Games.

VRT will be able to show more than 200 hours of live coverage of the 2024 Games. It will show a significantly smaller number of hours from the Beijing winter Games due to the lower interest.

Discovery-owned international sports broadcaster Eurosport will continue to show full live coverage of both events in the Flanders region.

VRT also holds Flemish-language rights in Flanders to the 2020 summer Games in Tokyo.

Last month, VRT’s French-language equivalent, RTBF, agreed a sublicensing deal with Discovery for the 2020-2024 Olympic Games cycle in the French-speaking regions of the country.

VRT and RTBF were both rights-holding broadcasters of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro summer Games after negotiating deals with the Lagardère Sports agency.

Discovery Communications has rights to the Olympics across most European territories from 2018 to 2024.

As part the deal, Discovery committed to making available on free-to-air television a minimum of 200 hours of the summer Games and 100 hours of the winter Games during the Games period in each market.