Badminton is poised to extend its global reach when the new Olympic Channel is launched later this year.
Thanks to the Badminton World Federation’s agreement with Olympic Channel Services (OCS), badminton is among the sports which will be featured when the digital-first, multi-platform media entity starts programming. OCS has announced that it has so far reached agreement with 27 international sports federations (IFs) to collaborate on content for the Olympic Channel; another significant step towards the much-anticipated launch.
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.
“Badminton is a growing sport and we are constantly striving for innovative ways to increase our global fan base. This partnership with the Olympic Channel presents a fantastic opportunity for badminton to reach markets which we are yet to tap into,” noted BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer.
“We are particularly intrigued by the prospect of engaging with youth more effectively through modern technologies such as mobile, tablet and social-media platforms which will be part of the Olympic Channel. We look forward to working closely with OCS to bring the best of badminton – past and present – to fans across the world and further enhancing badminton’s reputation in the ‘sportainment’ marketplace.”
Meanwhile, IOC President Thomas Bach, who recently chaired a joint Olympic Channel Board of Directors meeting at the newly-inaugurated OCS facilities in Madrid, said: “The Olympic Channel will mark a major shift in how the Olympic Movement connects with young people all year round. 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.”
Mark Parkman, General Manager of Olympic Channel Services, said: “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. Content production has begun, the technology and platforms are being tested, and there is a growing sense of energy and excitement here among the Olympic Channel team as we prepare for launch this year.”
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 Services team now consists of more than 60 full-time employees, representing 20 different nationalities. The Olympic Channel team is composed of experienced broadcast professionals and innovative content-producers working out of two main bases of operation. The commercial and distribution departments are located at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the technical and production units operate out of Madrid, Spain. The facility to house the Olympic Channel in Madrid is now complete and the OCS production team has begun working with leading production companies from around the world.
The Olympic Channel collaborations aim to complement the International Federations’ current broadcast and distribution arrangements. The Olympic Channel team is currently working with the IFs to create innovative partnerships, including live event coverage, highlights, magazine shows, news coverage and original programming.
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)
In addition to on-going discussions with other IFs, the Olympic Channel Services team is working to build and strengthen collaborations, including with athletes, National Olympic Committees, Rights-Holding Broadcasters (RHBs), Worldwide TOP Partners, Organising Committees for the Olympic Games, candidate cities, recognised sports organisations, as well as with major digital and social media platforms.