ERR declines to purchase broadcasting rights for next two Olympics for €1.1m
The Estonian Broadcasting Council (RHN) decided on Tuesday that Estonian Public Broadcasting will not be purchasing broadcasting rights for the next Winter and Summer Olympics from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for 1.1 million euros as the asking price is unreasonably high.
RHN Chairman Agu Uudelepp told ERR that a 20-percent VAT, transmission fees and journalists' travel fees would be tacked onto this price as well. "The RHN was of the unanimous opinion that [we] could not go along with such a high cost," said the chairman.
According to Uudelepp, other circumstances taken into consideration were the fact that the 2018 Winter Olympics are being held in South Korea and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan, which, due to time differences, would mean that broadcasts would occur during inconvenient hours, as events would be taking place in the middle of the night or early in the morning according to local time, and the fact that with 1.1 million euros, ERR could only broadcast less than half of all races.
Discovery Channel-owned Eurosport, which acquired sales rights to the Olympics from the IOC, is required by the terms of the sale to broadcast the Games on one free channel in every country in Europe. As Eurosport is not broadcast for free in Estonia, they are forced to sell their broadcasting rights to a free channel in Estonia, of which there are currently four in Estonia: ERR (includes three channels), TV3, Kanal2 and Tallinna TV.
From 2010-2012, ERR paid a total of 285,000 euros for broadcasting the Olympics; in 2014 and 2016, they paid 234,000 to broadcast the Games.