The International Olympic Committee wants to generate more interest and revenue around the Olympics between Games.
For the first time, the IOC is centralizing media rights for Olympic qualifying events in the hope of packaging them together to sell to television distributors around the globe, according to SportBusiness.
The IOC first announced the Olympic Qualifier Series earlier in October, with BMX freestyle, breaking, skateboarding, and sport climbing serving as the first sports to feature in the new concept. The qualifiers will take place in Shanghai on May 16-19 and in Budapest on June 20-23.
If the inaugural version of the revamped qualifier packaging generates significant interest ahead of the Paris 2024 Games, the IOC hopes to get more international sports federations into the fold for future run-ups to the Olympics.
“The idea is to enhance our value proposition to partners and help them bridge the gap between Games,” said IOC vice president of broadcast and media rights Jérôme Parmentier. “It helps shed light on the journey of athletes to the Olympics so that you don’t [just] discover them during the Games.”
It could be a welcome addition for Olympics rights holders, who often experience downturns in non-Olympic years — as was the case for NBC following the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The qualifiers product could have a much larger inventory to work with, too, following the approval of baseball/softball, cricket (T20), flag football, lacrosse (Sixes), and squash for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.