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Olympic television channel becomes reality: Agenda 2020

8 December 2014

AGENDA 2020: The new Olympic television channel is the  International Olympic Committee's new baby and it needs to crawl before it can walk.

IOC President, Thomas Bach, says the new television experiment will debut as an on-line digital channel.

“It will start as a digital channel and we will see how it develops,” he said. “Let’s get it off the ground by starting as a digital channel”.

The IOC is mindful of the cost of such a venture but knows it will be a winner with its member sports, especially those who are ignored by the broadcasters and miss out on television coverage for their events around the world.

It is planned the new channel will offer live on-line coverage of those events. If revenue flows as predicted the Olympic channel will grow. Sports like rowing, cycling, water polo and volleyball will be just some of the big winners.

It will be particularly aimed at young viewers and operate 365 days a year.

Members of the International Olympic Committee attending the 127th IOC Session in Monaco are certain to approve the new channel when they get down to business.

The television imitative is part of the 2020 Agenda, a raft of new ideas designed to reform and refresh the Olympic Movement.

Bach is confident the members will accept the 40 recommendations that form Agenda 2020.

”I am looking forward to decision time. I feel like an athlete before the start of a final, I am longing for the moment,” he said.

Agenda 2020 attracted 40 thousand submissions and produced 1200 concrete ideas.

It will look at ways to introduce new sports that are relevant to young people without increasing the number of athletes competing which is capped at 10,500.

Rugby 7’s and golf are two new sports on the program for the Rio Games in 2016. There is a very strong push, especially by the Japanese, for the return of softball and baseball when the Games return to Tokyo in 2020.

Squash, surfing, kite surfing, rock climbing and skateboarding are in contention for a place in the Olympics.

Olympic Agenda 2020 will also focus on the need for gender equality and work on ways to achieve 50% female participation and ways to reduce the cost of the Games for bidding and host cities.

It will also discuss the need for more funding to fight doping in sport and honour clean athletes.

Mike Tancred at the IOC Session

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