Olympics to be broadcast for free

May 11, 2021

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Chief Executive Carrie Lam today announced that the Government has purchased the broadcasting rights to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.


Ahead of the Executive Council meeting this morning, Mrs Lam told reporters that the Government's move was unprecedented and would enable Hong Kong citizens to watch the event for free.


“I will say that the decision was made partly because of the importance that we have attached to sports development over the years, both in terms of training and support for elite athletes, in terms of organising major mega sports events in Hong Kong to raise the status of sports development in Hong Kong - in anticipation of the completion of this huge Kai Tak sports stadium - and also to popularise sports in Hong Kong for the health of Hong Kong people.


“So as early as 2018, we had internal discussions and came to the view that it would be a great pity - despite all the things that we have done on sports development - if the people of Hong Kong have no chance to watch free of charge the Tokyo Olympic Games.”


Mrs Lam also pointed out that the Government stepped in to buy the rights when the city's commercial broadcasters could not.


“So finally, we came to the view, having sounded broadcasters out, that there will be no commercial broadcaster who was willing to pay for these broadcasting rights. So in order to meet the objective that I have emphasised, then the Government has no option but to step in.


“That is why from 2019, the Home Affairs Bureau has been given a mandate and a negotiation brief from me to negotiate with Dentsu Inc - which is the licensee for broadcasting the Tokyo Olympic Games in this part of the region - and they have done a very good job in the negotiation and we signed the agreement on May 7.”


The Chief Executive added that the Government would be fully refunded if the Tokyo Games were cancelled.

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