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Star India in deal for Olympic Games coverage

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MUMBAI: Star India has scored the rights to carry the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi and the 2016 Summer Olympics from Rio across seven South Asian countries.

The deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also covers the Summer Youth Olympic Games, taking place next year in Nanjing, China. Star India has the free to air, pay TV, Internet and mobile rights for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In 2012, the Olympics were broadcast in India on state broadcaster Doordarshan.

"We welcome the opportunity to work with Star India for the upcoming editions of the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games," said IOC president Jacques Rogge. "We are confident they will do a great job providing the best possible broadcast coverage of the Games, on a variety of platforms, to the largest possible audience in the seven different countries."

IOC chairman finance commission Richard Carrión, said, "The Star India deal marked a shift in the organisation's handling of broadcast rights in Asia. Traditionally the IOC has negotiated broadcast rights on a pan-Asian basis; however, the media landscape is changing and we have adapted our approach recently by negotiating directly in certain markets. We are very pleased to have reached this agreement directly with Star India."

For the 2012 games, the IOC had a pan-Asian free-TV deal with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union and a pay-TV deal with the now defunct ESPN Star Sports.

Star India head of sport business Nitin Kukreja added, "The Olympic Games remain the pinnacle of sporting achievement where the world's best in various disciplines face off for the title of Olympic champion. Indian athletes have also performed admirably over the last few editions, which is evident in the medal-winning performances that we have come to admire. We value our partnership with the IOC and feel that this spectacular extravaganza can be taken to even greater heights in India on both television as well as on digital platforms."??

Elsewhere in the region, deals for the 2014 and 2016 games were previously concluded with CCTV in China, SBS in Korea and a consortium of broadcasters in Japan.

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