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BBC's Olympic rights threatened by TV deal

BBC dominance under threat

Risk of the BBC losing rights to coverage of the Olympics has increased after Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee President, declares "everything is possible" with regards to selling TV rights.

The rivals hoping to challenge BBC dominance of the coverage will be revealed on Friday and are expected to include bids from free-to-air broadcasters, telecom providers and pay-TV companies. The IOC will then decide whether to take bidding further in order to achieve maximum broadcasting revenue.

Although the BBC holds UK broadcasting rights which guarantee coverage on a free-to-air basis, the IOC has reminded that pay-TV broadcasters have every right to bid with the hope that legislation will be altered.

The possibility remains that Channel 4, which has already made bids for rights to Formula One and will be showing the Paralympic Games, may  also make a bid for the Olympics.

Rogge has also suggested the possibility of seperating broadcasting with internet and mobile rights, an option which would maximise revenue and allow a variety of companies to gain coverage.

The BBC has stressed its enthusiasm to maintain coverage of the Olympics.