BERLIN: Germany's public broadcasters will not screen the Olympic Games live for the first time after they balked at the huge rights deal demanded by US giant Discovery.
Eurosport, owned by Discovery Communications, paid 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion) for all broadcast rights in most of Europe for the games between 2018 and 2024.
It has since been in talks with individual European broadcaster to sub-licence the rights.
On Monday, Discovery said talks with Germany's ARD and ZDF had broken down, meaning that the two public stations will not be screening the next four games.
Ulrich Wilhelm, who handles sports broadcast rights at ARD, said the broadcaster had sought to work towards an agreement.
"But we have to recognise that the demands from Discovery are beyond what we can answer for," he said, noting that the broadcaster depends on public licensing fees for its income.
German media reported that the US group had asked ARD and ZDF to pay 150 million euros for the right to screen the 2018 Pyeongchang winter games and the 2020 Tokyo summer games.
But the German broadcasters were only willing to pay 100 million euros, they added.
Nevertheless, German viewers should still be able to follow their athletes live on TV, as Eurosport plans to screen the games through both the free-to-air Eurosport 1 and DMAX channels as well as pay-TV Eurosport 2.
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