Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) has won back the rights to broadcast four Olympics beginning with the Winter Games in Milan and Cortina in Italy in 2026. NRK’s new boss Vibeke Fürst Haugen won’t say, though, how much the contract will cost.
“An important part of our role as state broadcaster is to gather folks around major athletic events,” Haugen said at a meeting of NRK employees this week. In her opinion, no other events “measure up” to the Olympics, simply called “OL” in Norway.
NRK will also broadcast the summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 2028, another winter OL in 2030 (which still hasn’t found a location to host the expensive event) and the summer OL in Brisbane, Australia in 2032.
NRK broadcasts every Olympics on radio, and on TV since it was first introduced in Norway in 1960. It lost its monopoly in the 1990s, however, and its last OL broadcast was in 2012, after it lost to bids from TV2 and then Discovery. Viewership fell when both summer and winter Olympics were held in Asia before and during the pandemic, and time-zone differences will be a challenge with an OL back in Los Angeles. Many Norwegians have preferred NRK’s coverage, which is ad-free, and NRK confirmed in June that it had bid for the broadcast rights in cooperation with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).