Tokyo 2020 to be broadcast on free-to-air television in Ireland

It has also been confirmed that Irish viewers will be able to watch the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018

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Picture by: Koji Sasahara / AP/Press Association Images

In June 2015, American company Discovery Communications bought the television rights to both the Winter and Summer Olympics from 2018 to 2024 for all of Europe.

Discovery owned, Eurosport was expected to have exclusive rights to the events, with domestic broadcasters such as RTÉ and BBC expected to lose out. At the time, RTÉ said that it was "too early to say definitively that RTÉ won’t broadcast the Olympics in 2020 and 2024."

It has been confirmed on Thursday morning that Discovery and RTÉ have entered into an agreement to secure television rights to the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2020 Summer Olympics which take place in South Korea and Japan respectively.

Susanna Dinnage, EVP & MD Discovery Networks UK and Ireland, said: “The deal between Discovery and RTE delivers multichannel, multi-platform access to the best of the Olympic Games action, guaranteeing the widest possible audience for the world’s greatest sports event.

The deal between Discovery and RTÉ is the fifth sub-licensing deal between the company and a European broadcaster. It follows deals with the BBC and others in the Netherlands, Finland and the Czech Republic.

The Pyeongchang and Tokyo events are the first time back-to-back Games will take place in Asia. The continent will also host the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.