The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the global governing body for equestrian sport, announced on June 6, 2016, that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Olympic Channel. The FEI is one of 27 International Federations to have signed an agreement with the IOC to work together to bring sport to a massively increased television audience worldwide. 

“Sport touches many cultures and people of all ages and, in our efforts to maintain a long-lasting positive impact worldwide, we are delighted to be part of this ground-breaking initiative value and to provide content to the Olympic Channel,” FEI President Ingmar de Vos said. “This is a unique opportunity to open a global window on our sport, encouraging fans around the world to pursue their potential through sports contribution.

“By sharing our sport and our athletes’ stories on the Olympic Channel, we will be part of a new global network, together with our International Federation counterparts within the Olympic Movement, inspiring generations through the power of sport at its very best.”

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 [International Federation] 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 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.

The 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 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.

In addition to the FEI, OCS has concluded agreements with Badminton World Federation (BWF); International Basketball Federation (FIBA); International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF); International Boxing Association (AIBA); International Canoe Federation (ICF); 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) and World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)

As well as its ongoing discussions with other IFs, the Olympic Channel Services team is working to build and strengthen collaborations with athletes, National Olympic Committees, Rights-Holding Broadcasters, Worldwide TOP Partners, Organising Committees for the Olympic Games, candidate cities, recognised sports organisations, as well as with major digital and social media platforms.

About the Olympic Channel

The Olympic Channel is a digital-first, multiplatform global Olympic media entity, which aims to broadcast the Olympic Movement and its inherent values all year round, especially in the periods between the Olympic Games.

The primary objectives of the Olympic Channel are the following:

  • Provide a platform for the continuous exposure of Olympic sports and athletes beyond the Olympic Games period and help create anticipation while providing opportunities to “re-live the experience” after the Games;
  • Continuously highlight the relevance of the Olympic Movement’s ideals to the challenges of today’s world;
  • Provide a platform for sharing the IOC’s very rich patrimonial assets and archives with the world and create additional value and content for the IOC archives;
  • As a matter of priority, engage the young generations around the world using methods that are relevant to them, building understanding, entertainment and education.

At launch, the Olympic Channel will be a digital platform, with on-demand content available across the web, mobile, tablet and other connected devices where fans can experience the power of sport and Olympism 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. Audiences will also be able to access content and engage through a variety of social media platforms as part of the Olympic Channel network.

Two corporate entities are charged with creating and operating the Channel – Olympic Channel Services (OCS) SA (Switzerland) and OCS SL (Spain). In addition, a newly formed IOC Olympic Channel Commission has been appointed.

Photo: Canstockphoto/Taden