Why Wait Until 2016? IOC Creates OTT Olympics Channel

By Adam Flomenbaum 

Rio-Olympics-2016-logo-640x360According to a report by Reuters, the International Olympic Committee yesterday passed a resolution that will create an OTT channel for year-round coverage of Olympic sports. The channel will be operated by Olympic Broadcasting Services (in Madrid) with an estimated cost of $600 million to operate over the first seven years. The goal is to break even within the first decade.

“As the year-round home to Olympic sports programming in the United States, Universal Sports Network welcomes the IOC’s desire to bring more international TV exposure to these sports and athletes,” said Universal Sports Network President Scott Brown. “The IOC’s vote to create a digital over-the-top channel is a positive development in our space. Their announced complementary content to the athletic competitions we broadcast on an annual basis will amplify the spotlight on Olympic sports outside of the Olympics themselves and ultimately bring them more deserved attention and help them grow.”

Despite the uproar over time-delayed linear broadcasts during the 2012 London Games, NBC has done a fantastic job over the past two Olympics demonstrating the potential of TV Everywhere solutions for consumers and advertisers. Along with more ways to consume Olympic content, social TV has certainly played a large role in the increased interest in the games. A digital/OTT channel, while likely to go virtually unwatched – will draw high CPMs from advertisers seeking to target niche audiences (aren’t they all?). For example, Leon Paul can target consumers during fencing broadcasts.