By Duncan Mackay

Channel Ten logoMay 12 - Ten Network has brought the Australian television rights to broadcast the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, it was revealed today.

It has paid a reported $20 million (£13 million/€15 million) for the right to show the Games, the Australian Financial Review said. 

Ten is ranked as Australia's third public broadcaster but has identified sport as a weapon to improve its ratings. 

The Australian Financial Review also reported that Ten had lodged a $500 million (£326 million/€386 million) bid for the next five-year cricket domestic and international broadcast rights starting later this year.

Attempts by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to sell the Australian rights for Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 had stalled "due to less than favourable market conditions", one person involved in the negotiations had told insidethegames last month.

A bid from Seven of $80 million (£52 million/€62 million) for Rio 2016 was refused by the IOC, which was looking for a figure closer to the $100 million (£66 million/€78 million) that the Nine Network and Foxtel paid for Vancouver 2010 and London 2012, the Australian Financial Review reported.

Nine lost a reported $20 million (£13 million/€15 million) on London 2012, where Foxtel was its broadcast partner and shared some production costs.

Subscription television provider Foxtel reportedly lost up to $50 million (£33 million/€39 million) on its London coverage, for which it produced a multi-channel offering.

Ten broadcast the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, earning strong ratings.

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