Tokyo has been announced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the host city of the 2020 Summer Olympics Games. The Japanese capital defeated Istanbul in the second round of voting by a margin of 60 to 36 votes. Madrid was knocked out of the race in a first round tie-breaker with Istanbul. Tokyo had been the hot favourite to host the Olympics for a second time (after the 1964 Olympics).
Tokyo’s victory is great news for Australian fans, as the 2020 Games will be in an Australian friendly time zone.
The first Summer Games in Asia since Beijing is also likely to see the Australian broadcast and digital rights to the 2020 Olympics hotly contested by Australia’s free-to-air networks. With uncertainty over the fate of the anti-siphoning law reforms and a recent lack of competitive interest from Australia’s free-to-air networks, the IOC struggled to sell a rights package to the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Games to Australia’s broadcasters. Earlier this year (as reported by Frost Global), the IOC announced it had sold broadcast and digital rights for next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi to Network Ten.
With the IOC awarding the 2020 Games to Tokyo, this will likely give the IOC a fresh chance to begin negotiations with Australia broadcasters over an Olympic rights package that would include the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang (South Korea) and the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
As Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates told coporate.olympics.com.au “Tokyo will mean great television coverage for our athletes.” With both the 2018 and 2020 Olympics in friendly timezones for Australian viewers, expect Seven, Nine and Ten to bid fiercely for the next Olympic rights package. This should mean an uplift in the rights fees that the IOC can extract from the Australian market and may rival the amounts Seven paid for the 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The confirmation of the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo will also likely assist the AOC in growing its already strong partner and sponsorship program, as corporates look to capitalise on a regional Olympic Games and Australia’s strong relationship with Japan.
The battle is now on for the Australian networks as they look to secure the rights to the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo.