Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
July 30, 2016: Calling it the "start of an exciting new journey to connect the worldwide audience with the Olympic Movement," the International Olympic Committee has set an official launch date for the Olympic Channel, Aug. 21, following the Closing Ceremony of the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The IOC said that beginning late that day, the Olympic Channel platform would be available worldwide via a mobile app for Android and iOS devices and at Olympicchannel.com.
People would also be able to follow the Olympic Channel 24/7 via new social media destinations on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, as well as sign up for Olympic Channel updates at Olympicchannel.com.
“The launch of the Olympic Channel on Aug. 21 is the start of an exciting new journey to connect the worldwide audience with the Olympic Movement all year round.," IOC President Thomas Bach said during a media conference in Rio.
"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.”
The IOC anticipates ad and marketing support from its top-tier global partners, which include Atos, Coca-Cola, Bridgestone, Dow, GE, McDonald's, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Toyota and Visa.
The IOC, which will support with its own marketing, has unveiled an initial tag line, "Where the Games never end."
This past June, the IOC said that more than 27 international sports federations had signed deals to collaborate on content for the Olympic Channel.
"We are happy with the cooperation with the International Federations: 27 of them have entered into a cooperation agreement," Bach said during a separate media conference this past Friday (July 29).
"We are also happy with the cooperation with our rights holders who know that the Olympic Channel is not a competition but an enhancement of their programming. It is an interesting journey in the digital world for the IOC and the Olympic Movement," said Bach.
The IOC initially eyed a starting date to coincide with the beginning of the Summer Games on Aug. 5. The intent was to provide supporting coverage to official broadcast partners in countries worldwide, including NBCUniversal in the U.S., but held off so as not to detract attention and viewers from its partners.
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.
The IOC said a key goal for the Olympic Channel is to provide "a new way to engage young people, fans and new audiences in the Olympic Movement."
Content will include original programming, live sports events, news and highlights offering additional exposure for sports and athletes year-round.
Although designed for a global audience, the Olympic Channel digital platform will initially be offered in English.
After the launch, the IOC said that the Olympic Channel would help "foster partnerships with other Olympic stakeholders, including rights-holding broadcasters and National Olympic Committees to develop localized versions of the Olympic Channel.
Localized versions will offer language-specific user experiences on digital platforms, and will also include linear television programming options.
IOC Fast-Tracks Plans For Olympic Channel
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