Olympic Channel launches Aug 21
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The launch of the Olympic Channel on August 21st is the start of an exciting new journey to connect the worldwide audience with the Olympic Movement all year round. Fans will be able to follow sports, athletes and the stories behind the Olympic Games. The Olympic Channel will inspire us all and reach out to new generations of athletes and fans.”
With the goal of providing a new way to engage young people, fans and new audiences in the Olympic Movement, the Olympic Channel is a free platform that will present original programming, live sports events, news and highlights offering additional exposure for sports and athletes all year round. Olympic Channel original programming will include both short-form and long-form content, focusing on elite athletes, their quest for success and sport around the world.
Designed for a global audience, the Olympic Channel digital platform will showcase content from around the world, and will initially be offered in English. Additional features at launch will include fantastic content as video on demand, as well as individual sport pages within a user-friendly and mobile-responsive interface, subtitled in nine different languages.
The Olympic Channel includes an option to register for a more personalised experience, where users can follow their favourite athletes, teams, sports and countries to receive an individually-tailored content selection.
After the launch of the global digital product in August, the Olympic Channel intends to foster partnerships with other Olympic stakeholders, including rights-holding broadcasters and National Olympic Committees to develop localised versions of the Olympic Channel. Localised versions will offer language-specific user experiences on digital platforms, and will also include linear television programming options.
IOC President Thomas Bach, who recently chaired a joint Olympic Channel Board of Directors meeting at the newly inaugurated OCS facilities in Madrid, said: “The Olympic Channel will mark a major shift in how the Olympic Movement connects with young people all year round. The International Federations have embraced the Olympic Channel and we look forward to working with them on the exciting programming and promotional opportunities. The newly formed Olympic Channel team is making steady progress, with the emphasis on ensuring the product is right and the quality of the programming matches our ambition. We look forward to announcing the 2016 launch date in the coming weeks.”
Mark Parkman, General Manager of Olympic Channel Services, said: “Preparations for the launch of the Olympic Channel are on course and the announcement of these cooperation agreements with our IF partners is another important step forward. We expect to make further announcements regarding collaborations with other IFs and stakeholders in the near future. Content production has begun, the technology and platforms are being tested, and there is a growing sense of energy and excitement here among the Olympic Channel team as we prepare for launch this year.”
The creation of an Olympic Channel was one of the key recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020, aiming to provide a new way to engage young people and core fans in the Olympic Movement, while also promoting the Olympic values on a consistent basis.
The Channel will broadcast live sports events, news and athlete stories, as well as historical Olympic footage and official films from the IOC’s archives. There will also be a focus on educational and youth-oriented programming, sustainability, sports science and nutrition, and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.
The Olympic Channel Services team now consists of more than 60 full time employees, representing 20 different nationalities. The Olympic Channel team is composed of experienced broadcast professionals and innovative content-producers working out of two main bases of operation. The commercial and distribution departments are located at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the technical and production units operate out of Madrid, Spain. The facility to house the Olympic Channel in Madrid is now complete and the OCS production team has begun working with leading production companies from around the world.
The Olympic Channel collaborations aim to complement the International Federations’ current broadcast and distribution arrangements. The Olympic Channel team is currently working with the IFs to create innovative partnerships, including live event coverage, highlights, magazine shows, news coverage and original programming.
The IFs with whom OCS has concluded agreements include:
Badminton World Federation (BWF)
International Basketball Federation (FIBA)
International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF)
International Boxing Association (AIBA)
International Canoe Federation (ICF)
International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI)
International Fencing Federation (FIE)
International Golf Federation (IGF)
International Gymnastic Federation (FIG)
International Hockey Federation (FIH)
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF)
International Judo Federation (IJF)
International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM)
International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF)
International Ski Federation (FIS)
International Swimming Federation (FINA)
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)
International Tennis Federation (ITF)
International Triathlon Union (ITU)
International Weightlifting Federation (IWF)
United World Wrestling (UWW)
World Archery Federation (WA)
World Curling Federation (WCF)
World Rowing Federation (FISA)
World Rugby (WR)
World Sailing (WS)
World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)
In addition to on-going discussions with other IFs, the Olympic Channel Services team is working to build and strengthen collaborations, including with athletes, National Olympic Committees, Rights-Holding Broadcasters (RHBs), Worldwide TOP Partners, Organising Committees for the Olympic Games, candidate cities, recognised sports organisations, as well as with major digital and social media platforms.
Two corporate entities are charged with creating and operating the Channel – Olympic Channel Services (OCS) SA (Switzerland) and OCS SL (Spain). In addition, a newly formed IOC Olympic Channel Commission has been appointed. olympicchannelservices.com
About the Olympic Channel
The Olympic Channel is a digital-first, multiplatform global Olympic media entity, which aims to broadcast the Olympic Movement and its inherent values all year round, especially in the periods between the Olympic Games.
The primary objectives of the Olympic Channel are the following:
- Provide a platform for the continuous exposure of Olympic sports and athletes beyond the Olympic Games period and help create anticipation while providing opportunities to "re-live the experience" after the Games
- Continuously highlight the relevance of the Olympic Movement's ideals to the challenges of today's world
Provide a platform for sharing the IOC's very rich patrimonial assets and archives with the world and create additional value and content for the IOC archives
- As a matter of priority, engage the young generations around the world using methods that are relevant to them, building understanding, entertainment and education.
At launch, the Olympic Channel will be a digital platform, with on-demand content available across the web, mobile, tablet and other connected devices where fans can experience the power of sport and Olympism 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. Audiences will also be able to access content and engage through a variety of social media platforms as part of the Olympic Channel network.