Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
June 6, 2016: The International Basketball Federation (FIBA), International Boxing Association (AIBA), International Gymnastic Federation (FIG), International Swimming Federation (FINA) and International Tennis Federation (ITF) are among 27 international sports federations that have signed deals with the International Olympic Committee to collaborate on content for the Olympic Channel, which plans to cover all things related to the Olympics and athletes 24/7, 365 days of the year.
A launch date for the Olympic Channel has not been set, but the IOC plans to have it up and running prior to the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, which run Aug. 5-21.
"The detailed plans for the Channel are now being determined and we are focusing on ensuring the product is ready, and not simply adhering to a specific date. We look forward to announcing the 2016 launch date in the coming weeks," according to the IOC.
The IOC said that when the Olympic Channel begins in time for the Summer Games, live broadcast of the competition would only be available from the "rights holding broadcast organization" in each respective territory. "However, the Olympic Channel will provide complementary content that will enhance the viewer’s Olympic experience, not only during the 17 days of the Games, but throughout the entire year."
The technical and production units of the Olympic Channel are located in Madrid, Spain; the commercial and distribution department operates out of Lausanne, Switzerland, in IOC headquarters.
According to the IOC, "The Olympic 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 team is working with the IFs to "create innovative partnerships, including live event coverage, highlights, magazine shows, news coverage and original programming."
“The Olympic Channel will mark a major shift in how the Olympic Movement connects with young people all year round," IOC President Thomas Bach, said during a recently chaired joint Olympic Channel board of directors meeting at the newly inaugurated OCS facilities in Madrid.
"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," said Bach.
The Olympic Channel will be the home for all content in, around and about the Olympic Games, "from the athletes’ personal stories to their training regimens, from world championships and Olympic qualifying competitions to new sports looking to get into the Olympics . . . everything that makes the Games what they are today," according to the IOC.
According to Mark Parkman, GM for Olympic Channel Services, “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."
"The IFs have embraced the Olympic Channel and we look forward to working with them on the exciting programming and promotional opportunities."
Parkman said that content production has begun and technology and platforms are being tested.
"There is a growing sense of energy and excitement here among the Olympic Channel team as we prepare for launch this year," said Parker.
The IOC said that 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 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)
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