However, this setback will not stop anyone from following this event because as Germans we are very interested in winter sports. Even if following the program on TV will be difficult! Due to the time difference, most live events will be shown at night, in the morning and early afternoon, but not during prime time in the evening. Furthermore, the IOC sold the 2018 Olympic Games television rights, from 2018 to 2024, for all of Europe to the American concern Discovery. For the first time, the two German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF will not be able to stream the games. In 2016 negotiations failed due to different price perceptions. In the Summer of 2017 the two German channels were finally able to buy sublicenses in order to broadcast at least a number of events. Now, only certain sports will be shown on the public channels, others on private broadcasters and pay-tv. This means that the broadcasting of the Olympics is not reserved for the public channels anymore. Instead, the viewer will have more options to select his or her own program individually.
After the disappointing results of the 2014 Winter Olympics, when Germany only achieved eighth position overall, (Vancouver 2010 2nd place) the Winter season 2016/17 promises better results. The most successful biathletes are Laura Dahlmeier, a five-time World Championship title winner and the overall World Cup victor, the combiner Johannes Rydzek with four World Championship titles, and Eric Frenzl, who won five overall World Cups in a row. Other successful athletes are the tobogganists, ski jumpers, and bob racers.
Finally, let’s not forget the Paralympics, where Germany will send very successful athletes in five of the six categories! Top performances will be expected for skiing. Also, the wheelchair curling team will be followed with high interest as it missed the previous Winter games in Sochi.
by Schirin H.