MUMBAI: The sports industry has already taken a massive hit by the novel coronavirus that has created havoc across the globe. Now, as speculated, the Tokyo Olympics 2020 has also been postponed by a year to summer 2021, as confirmed by the International Committee of Olympics (IOC).
According to the official statement, “The IOC president and the prime minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, in order to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”
Though the final dates of the Olympics 2020 are yet to be announced by the organisers, “it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan, and was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” reads the official statement.
The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and the prime minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, held a conference call this morning to discuss the constantly changing environment with regard to Covid-19 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The once-in-four-year sporting event, Olympics is the most-watched game across the globe and was scheduled to take place between 24 July and 9 August. Earlier last week, UEFA had also postponed the marquee event Euro Cup 2020 exactly by a year amid Covid19 pandemic.
The postponement of the world’s biggest event may hit Japan’s economy, sponsors, advertisers, and organisers massively. It is expected that the game will cost around $12 billion. Olympics budget is split between the organisers, local and national governments. IOC is likely to contribute over $800 million.
At present, this edition of Olympics has so far generated record domestic sponsorship revenues of over $3 billion. The top sponsors, who already have come onboard are Toyota, Bridgestone, Panasonic and South Korea’s Samsung in separate deals with IOC.
According to Variety, Comcast has agreed to pay over $4.3 billion for US media rights to broadcast Olympics from 2014 to 2020. Moreover, Discovery Communications, the parent of television channel Eurosport has agreed to pay $1.4 billion to screen Olympics from 2018 to 2024 across Europe.