The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has retained clip rights in 68 territories that it will exploit on the Olympic Channel during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as it seeks to drive greater engagement for its own OTT/digital media platform. The Olympic Channel was launched for the Rio 2016 games and isn’t an all-encompassing direct-to-consumer play at this point, and the IOC is keen to respect existing rights-holders.
Anne-Sophie Voumard, vice-president of broadcast and media rights at IOC Television & Marketing Services, told SportBusiness that the rights that had been held back in order to be able to offer coverage of the Tokyo 2020 games in some markets. “We anticipate using the Channel very much during the Games. Not with live but we have retained [clips] rights in about 68 territories across the Indian subcontinent, Russia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America (excluding Brazil).”
“We’re going to use that retained content to engage with our audience. This is not to be competing with our broadcasters of course but to engage an audience eager to consume Olympic Games content, but also promote our partners and drive traffic back to them.”
For now at least, the Olympic Channel seems mainly aimed at plugging the gaps in coverage in certain markets. But even for next January’s Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, the Olympic Channel will be pushing out 300 hours of coverage on a dedicated Winter Youth Olympic Games channel that will publish content across YouTube and connected TV devices such as Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Android TV and Roku. The dedicated streaming channel will feature both live and tape-delayed event coverage and daily highlights shows.
The coverage will also feature a daily live show, an Olympic Channel podcast, access to competition schedules, live streaming schedules, results and medals table at olympicchannel.com. On the social side, fans will be able to follow the Olympic Channel’s coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to learn more about the sports featured at the Winter YOG as well as interact with athletes and for behind-the-scenes action.