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Olympic television channel gets the green light

9 December 2014

The International Olympic Committee has plunged into the television business in a big way... investing $750m (AUD) on a new Olympic channel to be seen throughout the world, 365 days a year.

The digital service, which will launch next year, will show news, events and the rich historical Olympic footage in the IOC archives. Coverage will include qualifying tournaments, Olympic test events, the lighting of the Olympic flame in Greece and torch relays.

Sports like rowing, cycling, water polo and volleyball who don’t receive widespread coverage on free to air television will be some of the big winners out of this project. Their events will be available live.

The new channel will target young viewers and hardcore fans, and will be available on tablets and phones. Experts behind the project are confident the channel will ensure constant growth of the Olympic brand. They promise it will be thrilling, emotional and inspiring.

"This is really a historical step for the IOC and the Olympic movement," said Bach after Monday's vote.

Yianis Exarchos, chief executive of the Olympic Broadcasting System (OBS), said a major study had shown that the new channel would provide a "viable platform" to highlight the Olympic movement and athletes outside of the competition days of the summer and winter Games.

"The IOC and its partners can communicate, connect and engage with the worldwide Olympic community and its fans,” Exarchos said.

"It’s going to be an always-on global digital platform," he added, with regional and centrally-organised programmes from the IOC, national Olympic committees and international federations, who currently rely on traditional channels for coverage.

The Olympic television right’s holders in the different territories, Network 7 in Australia, will produce much of the content in their region.

The television initiative is part of the 2020 Agenda, a raft of new ideas designed to reform and refresh the Olympic Movement. The channel will be based in Switzerland and Spain, where OBS is based.

The initial investment of $750m covers 7 years of production. The IOC hopes to attract close to $200m in commercial revenue to offset costs in that time.

They believe the channel will be reach break even after 7 to 10 years.

The approval of the Olympic TV Channel was one the 40 reforms approved by the IOC members at the Agenda 2020 summit on Monday 8 December in Monte Carlo.

AOC President and IOC Vice President John Coates led the reforms on the bidding process, which we the first of the reforms approved. IOC embraces change>>>

Mike Tancred at the IOC Session
AOC

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