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GB OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC SPORTS PREPARE FOR LAUNCH OF NEW OTT PLATFORM

January 29th 2020
Vicky Sartain

A groundbreaking initiative to develop a digital and an Over-The-Top (OTT) broadcast platform for British Olympic and Paralympic sports has today been announced by a group of leading sports’ National Governing Bodies, UK Sport, the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association.

In their first move, the collective of British sports’ bodies have appointed Dominic Coles as the Chair of the newly incorporated GB Sport Media, the over-arching organisation that will manage and take the rights to the platform to market.

The collaboration across the Olympic and Paralympic sector has been in development for nearly two years, with more than 2,600 hours of content across 26 sports having already been secured.

Fans of Olympic and Paralympic sports will be able to watch the best live Olympic and Paralympic sports content from around the world, focused on British and Northern Irish athletes and teams.

Those rights range from domestic British Championships, to national and regional competitions, all of which will be supplemented by international competition following agreement with several international federations to secure non-exclusive rights to their events.

Behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and original features will also be made available providing unparalleled access to the transformational journeys of the UK’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes.

The concept has been developed in conjunction with the advertising network Omnicom Group, led by their sports consultancy, Fuse, with the ambition of launching the platform after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Coles will be responsible for driving negotiations with broadcast and media platforms and publishers as the opportunity to partner with GB Sport Media to deliver the platform is taken to a competitive market tender.

GB Sport Media seeks to appoint a media organisation to co-create the platform with, and to build a long-term relationship with an organisation that understands the strategic and commercial potential inherent in Olympic and Paralympic sports in the UK.

Coles said: “I am delighted and honoured to be asked to lead this exciting and groundbreaking new venture, transforming the coverage of the some of the best of British sport. I have been privileged to have worked with Olympic and Paralympic sports throughout my career at both the BBC and Discovery, and to have helped bring Team GB and ParalympicsGB’s remarkable achievements in recent Games to our screens.

“Now, for the first time, there will be a single destination for many of these sports between Games, giving fans the opportunity to continue to follow their heroes and rising stars as they compete for domestic and international honours.”

Andy Anson, CEO of the British Olympic Association, said: “This venture is a great demonstration of the strength of relationships across the British Olympic and Paralympic network and the importance of different sports bodies coming together to pool rights to create meaningful scale. The BOA will support this excellent initiative to the fullest extent possible.”

Mike Sharrock, CEO of the British Paralympic Association, added: “GB Sport Media is a great example of what can be achieved when we work together to promote the incredible array of sporting talent we have in the UK. This innovative approach will give the British public the opportunity to follow their Paralympic and Olympic heroes like never before; getting to know their personalities, while also presenting more opportunities to follow the action than ever before.

“It is a wonderful way to showcase Paralympic sport and bring its unique appeal to as wide an audience as possible.”

UK Sport CEO, Sally Munday, said: “We are hugely excited about the opportunity that GB Sport Media presents for sports fans to watch their favourite Olympic and Paralympic sports more often. This collaboration of over 20 sports is a great example of the collective power of the UK high performance system to work together to drive increased exposure and financial sustainability for sport.”

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