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SBD Global/August 5, 2014/Olympics

IOC Could Launch Digital Olympic Network As Early As Next Year

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The IOC "could launch a digital, Olympic network as early as next year," according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The organization "has completed a feasibility study for an over-the-top channel that would be available in more than 200 markets." If the project is approved by the IOC members at the organization’s general assembly this December, then the organization "will push ahead" and invest more than $100M "to create a channel that provides a mixture of on-demand and live programming of Olympic sports." The IOC is the latest in a series of sports and entertainment properties that is "looking to create a digital channel similar to the on-demand offerings provided by Netflix, Hulu and others." Rather than securing distribution and subscription fees from cable distributors, those channels "are streamed directly to consumers through applications on tablets, TVs and devices like Apple TV or Amazon Fire." IOC TV Managing Dir Timo Lumme said that the IOC "would make the initial investment in starting the channel." The organization recently secured a $100M signing bonus from U.S. Olympic rights holder NBC "to be used for the promotion of Olympism and the Olympic values between 2015 and 2020." Lumme said that "the focus on the channel initially will be on building an asset, not generating revenue." He said that eventually, the IOC "will look for corporate partners to sponsor programming and broadcast partners to buy some of the feature programming" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/4 issue).
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