IOC Plans for a Digital Olympic Network in 2015; Channel Seven Gets Olympics Broadcasting Rights in Australia

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By Justin Noel Cudaihl | August 5, 2014 1:24 PM EST

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is planning to launch a digital Olympic network starting in 2015 in a move that will put the Olympic Games coverage to the forefront in the competitive online market for sports even as Channel Seven in Australia gets the broadcast rights for future Olympic events in the next few years.

According the Sports Business Journal, the IOC “could launch a digital, Olympic network as early as next year” and the organization will invest more than $100 million to “create a channel that provides a mixture of on-demand and live programming of Olympic sports.

"[IOC] would make the initial investment in starting the channel,” said IOC TV managing director Timo Lumme. “The focus on the channel initially will be on building an asset, not generating revenue."

Lumme added that eventually the Olympic body will tap corporate partners and sponsors for future programming and broadcast of the games.

The IOC looks to replicate the success of online outfits such as Netflix, Hulu and some which rather than secure subscription fees via cable distributors produces profits from the applications on tablets and other gadgets.

In related news, the IOC has awarded Seven West Media Ltd. (Channel Seven) the Olympics broadcast rights in Australia for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games (Nanjing); 2016 Olympic Games (Rio de Janeiro); 2018 Winter Olympics (PyeongChang); and 2020 Olympic Games (Tokyo).

“We are delighted that we will work with Seven until at least 2020. The IOC enjoys long term partnerships and this agreement is something of a homecoming between us and Seven.” said IOC President Thomas Bach in the official IOC website.

Tim Worner is also excited about the extended partnership between Channel Seven and the International Olympic Committee saying that part of their commitment is to give the Australian public the best free-to-air TV of future Olympic games.

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