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Discovery widens Olympics reach with mobile partnerships

JB Perrette

JB Perrette

Discovery is launching an ‘Official Mobile Broadcaster’ scheme to enable mobile operators to offer co-branded coverage of the Olympic Games.

Announcing the move at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Discovery said the scheme would bring the Olympic Games to more viewers, across more screens than ever before.

Mobile providers will be able offer their customers anytime access to all the action from the Olympics, with services to be customised to drive engagement.

Operator-branded channels will feature real-time highlights, the latest news, and exclusive on-demand content, which will be available before, during and after the Olympic Games.

Speaking on stage at Mobile World Congress, the president and CEO of Discovery Networks International, Jean-Briac Perrette, said it would take the scheme to market “almost 12 months before our first Olympics in Korea next February.”

“I think part of it, for us, is the journey of innovating on the kind of storytelling we tell,” said Perrette, describing the new creative ways Discovery is looking to reach younger audiences on mobile devices.

“We’re trying to experiment and learn a lot. I think one of the biggest changes that has happened in the last few years in our company is – for most of our existence… we were all about the big screen.

“Over the last few years what we realised is that was a great universe and it still is a great universe, but that was a billion screens. Now, all of a sudden, we look at the opportunity and say it’s about the 10 billion of this screen,” he said holding up his mobile phone.

“At the end of the day, we’re trying to figure out how do we become and maintain our relevance and tap into the incredible growth that’s happened on all these devices.”

Discovery is the exclusive TV and multimedia rights holder for the Olympic Games in 50 countries and territories across Europe from 2018 through to 2024.

Discovery and its sports brand Eurosport will use their own free-to-air, pay TV, digital and direct-to-consumer services as well as striking deals with mobile operators.