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July 5, 2022

Olympic Channel finalizes streaming deal for World Games

Olympics.com has snapped up extensive live-streaming rights to the upcoming World Games in Birmingham, US.

By Euan Cunningham

Olympics.com, the global online platform run by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has snapped up extensive live-streaming rights to the upcoming multi-sport World Games, which will take place in Birmingham, US, from July 7 to 17.

The agreement, announced yesterday (June 4) was struck between the International World Games Association (IWGA) organizer of the quadrennial event, International Sports Broadcasting, the Spanish firm which sells media rights on behalf of the IWGA, and Olympic Channel Services (OCS), which runs the online streaming platform.

It will see all highlights being made available worldwide on a permanent 24/7 channel, while live coverage will be available on up to eight live streams. This continues coverage of the World Games on the Olympics.com platform, which broadcast the initial edition in 2017.

The agreement between the IWGA and OCS, will provide a “comprehensive digital offering to stream the live action.”

It had been reported in late June that a deal between OCS and the IWGA was on the cards.

The signal for the video stream will be provided by ISB, with each live stream to be accompanied by English commentary. The live graphics, meanwhile, will come from Swiss Timing, a software firm and IWGA commercial partner. 

Mark Parkman, general manager at OCS, said: “One of the objectives of the Olympic Channel is to support all sports within the Olympic movement. Our coverage of the World Games 2017 was one of our most successful live events to date on the global digital platform, and demonstrates the worldwide appeal of these sports."

Jose Perurena, the IWGA’s president, added: “The fact that we can use up to eight streams simultaneously means that no one will miss any of the highlights of the Games. I can already promise that there will be numerous spectacular events … This ensures that the Games, but more importantly to me, our outstanding athletes, get the attention they deserve."

Over the last few weeks, the IWGA has outlined deals with broadcasters in over 60 countries for World Games coverage.

Domestically, the national network CBS (now called Paramount) will showcase highlights of the action, through a deal struck in July last year.

Regional deals, meanwhile, include tie-ups with sports heavyweight ESPN in Latin America, and Abu Dhabi TV in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

In Europe, nations with coverage deals in place include France (L’Equipe), Spain (RTVE), 2017 host Poland (Polsat), while in Germany pay-TV broadcaster Sport1 struck a deal last week.

Founded in 1981, the World Games are held the year after the Olympic Games, and feature disciplines not on the Olympic program.

The Birmingham event was due to take place last year only to be put back 12 months to avoid a clash with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which were postponed to 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 320 German athletes – the second-largest contingent from all nations – are expected to take part in 120 medal events in Birmingham, Alabama, over the course of the World Games.

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