Games a global TV gold mine
If you tuned into the Olympics, whether on television or your smartphone, then you belong to a multi-billion dollar club of 5 billion people.
As the International Olympic Committee launches its Olympic Channel, here are five things to know about the biggest broadcasting operation on the planet, a combination of technology and business being raised by the digital revolution to ever-new levels.
From New York to Tokyo and Buenos Aires to London, people all over the world tuned in for the few seconds it took Jamaica’s Usain Bolt to run the 100m.
To make that happen, the signal was sent by the Olympic Broadcasting Services, which is under the control of the International Olympic Committee, and sent to four satellites, then beamed back down.
More than 7,000 technicians in blue T-shirts worked in a center resembling mission control, with the walls covered in screens, to deliver footage from the Games filmed by 1,200 camera operators. More than 7,000 hours of content were beamed around the world.
The Olympics is about money as much as sport and one major exchange of money is in selling broadcast rights.
The rights holders pay a premium for exclusive transmission of the Games.
“Revenue for transmission rights keeps going up. At Rio, it came to more than $3.5 billion,” said Yiannis Exarchos, CEO of Olympic broadcasting.