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  • Olympic Channel Joins Forces with Discovery Communications


    07/28/17

    (ATR) The Olympic Channel continues its rapid expansion as programming and content will now be available via Eurosport.

    Eurosport onsite at the World Alpine Ski Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Eurosport)
    Discovery Communications and the Olympic Channel announced a new partnership on Friday, including dedicated Olympic Channel programming windows on Eurosport, content creation and digital amplification.

    The partnership seeks to engage a younger and wider European audience with the Olympic Movement and encompasses 50 markets of the Pan European television sports network.

    Launching Aug. 2, viewers can see Olympic Channel-branded programming and content on Eurosport and the Eurosport Player as well as Eurosport presence on the Olympic Channel. There will also be an Olympic Channel digital portal on Eurosport.com and on Eurosport's Facebook and Twitter accounts via the digital amplification of content.

    “We’re taking our global version to a more local level with this amazing partnership we’ve developed with Discovery and Eurosport,” said Olympic Channel general manager Mark Parkman during a conference call with reporters on July 28.

    “This is another way that we can both grow our Olympic presence, both in Europe and globally for the Olympic Channel.”

    Olympic Channel leaders Yiannis Exarchos (2nd left) and Mark Parkman (center) during IF Workshop (Olympic Channel)
    “It’s a no-brainer – a partnership made in heaven,” added Yiannis Exarchos, executive director of the Olympic Channel.

    The new partnership comes with just under 200 days until the opening of the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.

    “This is a perfect way for us to begin the promotion for the PyeongChang Games leading up to February,” Parkman said.

    Olympic Channel programming available on Eurosport includes 60-minute specials highlighting some of the most memorable Olympic Games as well as short-form video content depicting inspirational athlete stories, famous Olympic moments and record breaking performances.

    Additionally, Eurosport will present an annual theme week with around the clock Olympic sports programming and content.

    Eurosport chief executive officer Peter Hutton said the European sports network “shares the same vision as the Olympic Channel".

    Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton (Eurosport)
    “We’re trying to make the Olympic brand something that lives year round, we’re trying to take it to a younger audience and we’re trying to do that through entertaining and challenging content across long-form and short-form,” Hutton said.

    “It is a strong arrangement that helps us to make the most of our content and the Olympic Channel content and encourages both of us to go out and produce new stories that help make the Olympic brand more relevant than ever,” he said.

    The deal runs through 2024, which coincides with the duration of Discovery Communications’ current tenure as ‘Home of the Olympics’ and exclusive multimedia rights holder for the Olympic Games in Europe.

    Hutton said it remains to be determined what specific content Eurosport might provide the Olympic Channel during the Olympic Games.

    “There is no specific plan for that period, but we are clearly cooperating every minute and every day during the Olympics to make sure the best content is out and people get to see it,” Hutton said.

    “We need to amplify the best content and no matter who produces it, we want people to see that content."

    The partnership between Discovery Communications, Eurosport and the International Olympic Committee officially started on Jan. 1, an agreement that was signed in June 2015.

    Eurosport’s mission to provide viewers with live and on demand televised sport, streaming on mobile, tablet or online through Eurosport aims to complement the Olympic Channel’s global digital platform.

    The Olympic Channel was launched by the IOC following the closing ceremony of Rio 2016. It is currently available in 11 languages and seeks to develop more localized versions for Olympic enthusiasts around the world.

    Written by Brian Pinelli

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