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Tip #1805: The Challenge in Broadcasting the Olympics

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

It’s not about consumption – it’s about the experience.

Olympic Broadcasting Services head: Yiannis Exarchos.

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In simple terms, the broadcast footprint at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be 30 per cent smaller than it was at Rio 2016, while content production will be up by about 30 per cent. Add the fact that technology is enabling a host of new ways to tell the stories of the Games and you can see that Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) boss Yiannis Exarchos is excited about uncovering new opportunities.

This article was written by the International Olympics Committee (IOC). This is a summary.

The challenge of producing more than 9,000 hours of sports content over 17 days in the current climate is clearly very real. But, “you should never let the opportunity of a major crisis go unused and unexploited,” Exarchos said. “Look at the learnings and uncover every opportunity so that we do what we do in a way that is far less impactful for the environment and the host cities, but at the same time is exciting.”

“Technology provides this through the world of data, through the world of augmented reality, through the world potentially of virtual reality – all things we will try and start introducing in Tokyo and in the next Games,” Exarchos explained.

In content terms this means more coverage in different formats, with the needs of social media and digital outlets high on the agenda. For instance, Content+, a web-based platform primarily dedicated to short-form and digital content, will be far more prominent in Tokyo than ever before. “Broadcasters can use this content, repurpose it; they can practically do it from their mobile phones in the back of a car,” Exarchos said, smiling.

This focus will mean there will be far more behind-the-scenes coverage than ever before, with consumers getting a real insight into what it means to be an Olympic athlete. Not that innovations are limited to off-field action – Tokyo 2020 will also be the first Games coverage to be natively produced in 4K HDR, something Exarchos was “not sure could actually be done” just a matter of months ago.

“It’s not about consumption of technology,” the OBS boss explained. “It’s about experiencing a better way of telling the stories of the greatest athletes of the world.”

“The major thinking, and what we want them to do and help them to do, is reduce the presence [of broadcast staff performing work] that can happen anywhere in the world,” Exarchos stressed. “To be shipping servers and setting up equipment in a city for things that can happen on the cloud is one of the things we want to avoid.”

The entire article provides more details and is well-worth reading.


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