Last November, the International Olympic Committee announced that Disney-owned ESPN won the exclusive rights to air the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2012 London Summer Games for South American viewers. Not only is this a huge win for the network and its Mouseketeer parent company, but also for South America, where the rights had previously belonged to Iberoamericana Television Organzation (OTI) who’d had a stronghold on the market since the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games.
The story can only get better as Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympics -- the first ever on the southern continent. ABC-ESPN is expected to bid for the rights to air, not only in South America, but in North America, as well, which would bring a huge viewership to the network.
For local viewers in Orange and Los Angeles counties, ESPN’s winning bid can be experienced first-hand in their Downtown Disney restaurant, ESPN Zone. Boasting both floor-to-ceiling main screens and televisions at many tables and booths, this will surely be the best seat in the county to watch those hi-flying jumps and perfect performances.
Visitors can host private events as well, where an exclusive room for their party provides seating and catering for everyone to watch their favorite Olympic events. For small groups (usually 10 or less), a private booth with its own television controlled by a touch panel is ideal. Or, fans can join the main room where the far wall contains at least 8 screens from floor-to-ceiling, each providing different coverage of events across the world.
Whatever your fancy, ESPN Zone offers a great place to cheer on good ol’ Team USA. Check out Vancouver's 2010 Olympic Closing Ceremonies this weekend with a Banana's Foster or their rum-soaked carrot cake for the perfect ending. And, with exclusive rights on the horizon, locals may want to book their seat in advance for the greatest showing of athleticism that only happens every four years.