Discovery backs Paris 2024 Olympics bid


Paris (AFP)

American media giant Discovery, the rights holder for the Olympics in Europe, on Thursday announced its backing to the Paris bid to host the 2024 Games.

Discovery, which also owns pan-European television network Eurosport and holds the European rights to the Olympics for the period 2018-2024, said in a statement: "Today, Discovery Communications and Eurosport, Home of the Olympic Games in Europe, met with members of the Paris 2024 Olympic Bid Committee in a show of support for an Olympic Games to be held in Europe in 2024."

The announcement comes as Paris competes with Los Angeles for the right to host the Games. The winning bid will be named by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lima in September.

There are suggestions that the IOC will decide to award one city the 2024 Games and the other 2028.

"We are excited to show our support for the Paris bid and their quest to bring the 2024 Olympic Games back to Europe," said Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav.

The IOC's executive committee will meet on Friday in Lausanne, Switzerland, to discuss the issue of announcing the hosts of the 2024 and 2028 at the same time this year.

The IOC is keen on a joint award in an effort to lock in two host candidates which offer low-risk, high-quality bids at a time when fewer cities are willing to take on the vast expense of staging the Olympics.

Publicly, however, both Paris and Los Angeles bid officials have stuck to the line that they remain focused only on 2024.

The IOC announced in June 2015 that Discovery had acquired the European rights for the Olympics for the six years to 2024 for a sum of 1.3 billion euros ($1.46 billion).

The period also covers the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo as well as the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.