Olympic Channel: showcasing the Games in the age of digital plenitude
In the age of multiple viewing portals, the Olympic Games are consumed through a whole plethora of platforms on a global scale, from live television broadcasting to social media. Nevertheless, once the action fades out, mainstream media fails to provide a sustained coverage of the Games in the years between the Olympics. The launch of the Olympic Channel, following the Rio 2016 Closing Ceremony, is a strategic attempt to bridge this gap. This article provides a historical overview of the relationship between the Olympic Games and the media and examines the distinctive proposition offered by the Olympic Channel. This platform takes advantage of the multiple technological advances that have tremendously altered the sports-media nexus to maximize users’ opportunities to access a broader range of Olympic-themed content. Through three core components (TV, Features and Original Series), the Olympic Channel lends opportunities to transcend the nationalized coverage and the lack of diversity often found in mainstream media. The mix of contemporary and archival footage, the promotion of minority disciplines and the provision of unique angles to international sport has the potential to broaden citizens’ knowledge and understanding of the Olympics and its fundamental values.