BBC athletics commentator Jonathan Edwards is set to move to Eurosport to lead the broadcaster’s Olympics coverage.
The triple jump world record holder will join the broadcaster in an exclusive deal from January 2017. Until then, he will continue to cover athletics events for both the BBC and Eurosport, making his Eurosport debut at the European Aquatics Championships in London in May.
This is the first major UK signing Eurosport has made since paying £920 million for pan-European Olympics TV rights.
Olympic gold-medalist Edwards has worked for the BBC for 13 years, since retiring from competition in 2003. The 49-year-old has covered the past four Olympic Games, and says he is looking forward to working with Eurosport in the buildup to PyeongChang’s Winter Olympics in 2018.
“It will be a huge honour to tell the stories of the world’s greatest sporting events to passionate fans right across the world, including from the Olympic Games,” Edwards said.
“Eurosport is fast becoming the number one destination for live and exclusive sport and I am thrilled to be a part of its continued growth.”
Eurosport’s senior vice president of content and production Arnaud Simon welcomed his new lead presenter on Twitter, while Eurosport’s CEO Peter Hutton called him the “ultimate professional as an athlete” and “one of the foremost voices of sports broadcasting”.
— arnaud simon (@arnaudsimon) February 18, 2016
This year, Edwards will continue to work for the BBC for Rio 2016, while also providing bulletins from the Games for Eurosport, according to The Guardian. He will then work with Channel 4 for their Paralympic Games coverage, before becoming an exclusive Eurosport presenter in 2017.
The BBC recently signed a deal with Eurosport ensuring that the Olympics would continue to be broadcast free to air in the UK until at least 2024. In return, Eurosport gained UK pay TV rights to both the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2020 Summer Olympics, competitions previously held exclusively by the BBC.