The $21 million deal is expected to maintain the free service the ASBU's official state broadcasters have provided for viewers of the Olympics since 1976.

"By awarding the TV rights to the ASBU, the IOC ensures that people in the Middle East are able to be at the heart of the Olympic competitions without payment," said IOC president Jacques Rogge.
  
"This is a very important principle for us, and this agreement shows our dedication to continuing to bring the Olympic Games to everyone across the world free of charge," he added.
  
The new deal covers all television, internet and mobile telephone coverage in Bahrain, Djibouti, Iraq, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Yemen.
  
The contract represents a "significant increase" on the undisclosed amount the ASBU paid for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the IOC said.