(Adds new France television deal, recasts)
* IOC seals deals with South Korea, France and Germany
* Three nations also battle it out for 2018 winter Games
By Karolos Grohmann
DURBAN, South Africa, July 4 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) sealed broadcasting rights deals with Germany, South Korea and France on Monday with the three countries locked in a race to win the nod for the 2018 winter Olympics.
State broadcasters ZDF and ARD were awarded the German broadcast rights for the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games while South Korea’s SBS won the rights until 2024.
France Televisions won the broadcasting rights from 2014 until 2020, the IOC said without revealing any financial details about the deals.
The announcements came two days before the IOC chooses the hosts for the 2018 winter Olympics, with South Korea’s Pyeongchang and Germany’s Munich seen as the frontrunners in a race that also includes France’s Annecy.
“ARD and ZDF have acquired the broadcast rights across all media platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, internet and mobile,” the IOC said.
This was the first time the IOC had negotiated the rights for Germany individually after ending a long-standing relationship with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
The IOC in 2009 had awarded SportFive the rights for the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games for 40 European countries but that deal excluded more lucrative territories such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Britain.
“ARD and ZDF have proven to be excellent broadcast partners for the Olympic Movement,” said IOC Vice President Thomas Bach, who led the negotiations.
“This is the first time we have negotiated broadcast rights directly in Germany, as opposed to through a broadcast union, and we are delighted to continue our relationship with the experienced teams at both ARD and ZDF.” (Editing by Clare Fallon)