Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), responsible for the international television production and provision of services for rights-holding broadcasters, plays a key role in ensuring that fans around the globe can watch and listen to all the sporting action of the Games.
During the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, OBS has used more than 450 cameras to produce over 1,300 hours of live sport, ceremonies and Olympic News Channel coverage. This coverage is being distributed by more than 80 rights-holding broadcasters across the world. These Games will reach an unprecedented 200 countries, more than any other Olympic Winter Games.
To implement and manage this vital broadcasting operation, the OBS team increased from 150 full-time employees to a workforce of approximately 3,200 by the start of the Games. Assisting the Organising Committee throughout the planning phase for Sochi, OBS has also been working in close collaboration with rights-holding broadcasters at competition venues, the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) and the Mountain Broadcast Centre (MBC). These Games saw more than 7,500 broadcast professionals working across all of these areas.
Located in the Main Media Centre in the Coastal Cluster, the IBC is the main hub for television coverage of the Games. Encompassing more than 40,000 square metres and operating 24 hours a day, the IBC has welcomed more than 55 rights-holding broadcast organisations with a presence in the facility (including sub-licensees). The MBC is a 9,000 square metres facility situated in the Mountain Cluster and offers rights-holders the opportunity to use their post-production facilities within a short distance of all skiing and sliding competition venues.
Providing a service on behalf of the IOC
Broadcast coverage is the principal means for people across the globe to experience the magic of the Olympic Games. The IOC owns the global broadcast rights for the Olympic Games – including broadcasts to television, radio, mobile and internet platforms – and is therefore responsible for allocating Olympic broadcast rights to media companies throughout the world. In 2001, it established Olympic Broadcasting Services, which serves as the permanent host broadcaster for the Olympic Games.
The IOC funds the operations of OBS at the Games, removing the financial burden from the organisers, while ensuring that high quality Olympic broadcast programming is delivered to rights-holding broadcast partners to air over various media platforms throughout the world.