(ATR) Plans move forward to launch an OTT platform in the U.K. for Olympic and Paralympic sports.
Former BBC and Discovery executive Dominic Coles has been tapped as chairman of the new enterprise to be known as GB Sport Media.
A name for the media platform hasn’t been announced yet. It is expected to launch after the Tokyo Olympics.
A collective of sports bodies including the British Olympic Association, British Paralympic Association, UK Sport and national governing bodies are stakeholders in the project which has been in developmentfor nearly two years.
The rights have been obtained for a range of British championships and other national and regional events. Non-exclusive rights to some international events have been secured, as well. So far more than 2600 hours of content with 26 sports have been booked.
Advertising network Omnicom Group and its sport consultancy Fuse have been working on the platform.
Coles will be responsible for negotiations with broadcast and media platforms and content providers.
GB Sport Media is searching for a media organization which will co-create the platform.
"I am delighted and honored to be asked to lead this exciting and ground-breaking new venture, transforming the coverage of the some of the best of British sport," says Coles in a statement.
"I have been privileged to have worked with Olympic and Paralympic sports throughout my career at boththe 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 honors."
British Olympic Association CEO Andy Anson says the collective is an effective way to develop the platform.
"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,"
While more than two dozen sports are included so far, noticeable holdouts include athletics, football, volleyball, golf, tennis and basketball.
The new British OTT channel follows the development of other platforms in the U.S., Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and the Olympic Channel, the original OTT platform for the Olympics launched by the IOC in 2016.
Reported by Ed Hula.