Olympic Channel turns three today!

The channel continues to thrive, building on live event coverage of the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games and award-winning original programming

It is exactly three years since Olympic Channel launched after the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Games.

In that time, Olympic Channel has put out more than 19,000 videos representing all Olympic sport disciplines and 206 countries as well as 65 original series, and formed partnerships with 91 International sport Federations and multisport organisers.

With its availability in 11 languages and strategic distribution partnerships in 160 territories, Olympic Channel has led to more personalised experiences for fans around the world.

From its high-octane innovative content during the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 to creating localised content ahead of Tokyo 2020, plus compelling original programming and digital content, the third year of Olympic Channel has been its best yet.

There has been a 330 percent increase in organic traffic to the platform from the previous year with an average watch time of 8:14 minutes per video.

On social media, the Olympic Channel community has grown to more than nine million who have contributed to over 2.45 billion video views with 78% of those engaging with content on social media under the age of 35.

And the best is yet to come.

In recent weeks, Olympic Channel has launched two new original series, 'Taking Refuge: Target Tokyo 2020' and 'All Around'.

The former sees three-time Olympic shooting gold medallist Niccolo Campriani take on the ambitious task of mentoring three refugees and coach them towards reaching the Minimum Qualifying Score which would make them eligible for Tokyo 2020.

'All Around' follows the personal journeys of three elite female gymnasts - 2017 world champion Morgan Hurd, Russia's European Games gold medallist Angelina Melnikova and China's Asian Games hero Chen Yile - all the way to next year's Games.

In January, there is the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 with Olympic Channel streaming hundreds of hours of live coverage as well as providing additional programming including "digital-first" content and social media coverage.

And then, of course, 24th July 2020 sees the start of the Games of the 32nd Olympiad in Tokyo.

To achieve its primary objective of reaching younger generations through content strengthening their connection to the Olympic Movement, Olympic Channel leverages a multi-platform distribution strategy including the web, mobile applications, social media platforms, connected TV devices and strategic partnerships with IOC rights holding broadcasters and stakeholders.

The global media destination was launched in support of the IOC’s goal, set out in Olympic Agenda 2020, "to provide a platform for sports and athletes beyond the Olympic Games period, 365 days a year".

Olympic Channel is three years old
Olympic Channel is three years oldOlympic Channel is three years old

Offering award-winning original programming, news, live sports events, and social media and interactive content, Olympic Channel has found new ways to engage younger generations, fans and new audiences with the Olympic Movement while providing additional exposure for sports and athletes 24/7/365.

General Manager Mark Parkman (MP) reflected on the occasion of Olympic Channel’s third anniversary.

What are some of your success stories from the past year?

MP: Our third year was our busiest and most successful to date. We have seen a 330% increase in growth in organic traffic which can be attributed to our efforts surrounding the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 and localisation efforts in strategic markets, specifically in Japan.

By serving as an engagement platform for sports and athletes to connect with fans, we are increasingly utilising data to focus on the type of content our audiences are interested in.

All these things combined with the diligent efforts our entire team has made in creating content and developing unique partnerships as we expand our global footprint has contributed to our overall growth.

How is your team working to make the Olympic Channel relevant in all parts of the world?

MP: Creating more localised content in order to provide fans with a deeper and more immersive experience is a key area of growth for us. We have evolved from a singular, global video platform in one language and grown to 11 languages, with Hindi coming soon, with additional features and distribution on multiple platforms which enhance the overall viewer experience.

In certain markets, we are creating relevant content that serves the local audience to ensure they are engaging with content that they are most interested in.

In addition, our distribution partnerships provide a complementary Olympic Channel-branded experience in 160 territories and we are excited to be launching soon in China and ahead of the Beijing Winter Games.

2020 is a busy year for the Olympic Movement, how is your team preparing for year number 4?

MP: We expect another busy year ahead and have already begun efforts surrounding our event coverage and promotion of Lausanne 2020 this January. And with less than a year to go to Tokyo 2020, our team is already working with TOCOG on plans to maximize awareness and promotion both in Japan and to a worldwide audience.

In the Fall of 2018, we began creating bespoke content in Japan designed with the local audience in mind providing a media destination that serves as an essential viewing guide for Tokyo 2020. And with Tokyo-focused series such as “All Around” and “Taking Refuge: Target Tokyo 2020”, we hope to create even more excitement for viewers around the world for next summer’s Games.

Olympic Channel infographic marking its third anniversary
Olympic Channel infographic marking its third anniversaryOlympic Channel infographic marking its third anniversary

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