The Olympic Channel Celebrates Third Year in the OTT Space

From its high-octane innovative content during the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 to creating localized content ahead of Tokyo 2020, the third year of the Olympic Channel proved to be its best year yet with new and exciting opportunities ahead.

The Olympic Channel celebrates its three-year anniversary with more than 19,000 videos representing all Olympic sport disciplines and 206 countries, 65 original series, partnerships with 91 International sports Federations and multisport organizers, availability in 11 languages and strategic distribution partnerships in 160 territories leading to more personalized experiences for fans around the world.

Live event coverage of Buenos Aires 2018, localization efforts in the Japanese market and compelling original programming and digital content contributed to a 330% increase in organic traffic to the platform from the previous year. Average watch time on the platform is 8:14 minutes per video watched.

On social media, the Olympic Channel community has grown to more than 9 million who have contributed to more than 2.45 billion videos views with 78% of those engaging with content on social media under the age of 35.

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

The global media destination launched following the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 in support of the IOC’s goal, set out in Olympic Agenda 2020. Offering award-winning original programming, news, live sports events, and social media and interactive content, the 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 reflected on the occasion of the Olympic Channel’s third anniversary:

What are some of your success stories from the past year?
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 localization efforts in strategic markets, specifically in Japan. By serving as an engagement platform for sports and athletes to connect with fans, we are increasingly utilizing 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?
Creating more localized 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 No. 4?
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.

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