From 28 February to 3 March 2023, Media Rights-Holders gathered in Milan to attend the inaugural Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) World Broadcaster Briefing for the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026.
With the Games three years away, the meeting was an invaluable opportunity for Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), the Milano Cortina 2026 Organising Committee and the Media Rights-Holders (MRHs) to convene in person, and visit select competition venues and the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), while also discussing the progress of the Games’ preparations and the development of the broadcast operation and coverage plan.
Following Olympic Agenda 2020’s recommendation to prioritise the use of existing facilities, the Milano Cortina 2026 Games will be held across northern Italy’s territories, making the most of their passion for winter sports, their experience at organising events, the stunning natural beauty of the Italian Alps and Milan’s creativity, innovation and culture.
On 1 March, MRHs departed Milan to embark on an adventure in the breathtaking mountain region of Valtellina. Their first destination was Livigno, a highly acclaimed winter sports destination, and the Olympic venue for all freestyle ski and snowboard events.
After their visit to Livigno, the broadcasters visited Bormio, which is set to host the men’s Alpine skiing competition on the legendary Stelvio slope. Additionally, the same slope will play host to the introduction of ski mountaineering – or skimo – to the Olympic programme.
On the second day of the venue tour, the Milan cluster was the focus, with the first stop being the Milano Convention Centre. Situated in the City Life district, a newly developed area in the northwest of the city, this facility is the largest exhibition centre in Europe and is set to be transformed into the Main Media Centre for the upcoming Games. During the Games, it will house the International Broadcast Centre, offering OBS and the MRHs access to production and technical facilities, as well as a variety of offices and services. With extensive broadcast coverage planned for the Games, the IBC is set to be a hub of activity and innovation, providing broadcasters with the tools they need to deliver world-class coverage to audiences around the globe.
After the visit to the Milano Convention Centre, the broadcasters made their way to the nearby San Siro Stadium, one of the most iconic football stadia in the world. This venue will host the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in 2026. The broadcasters were able to tour the stadium and take in its grandeur, gaining a deeper appreciation for the venue’s rich history and its vital role in Milan’s sporting and cultural landscape.
The venue tour concluded with a visit to Assago Forum. This existing multipurpose indoor arena located in the metropolitan area of Milan will be reconfigured for the Games with an ice rink to host the figure skating and short track speed skating events.
Main Session opening remarks
On 3 March, MRHs attended the Main Session of the WBB, which began with a video welcome message from Milano Cortina 2026 President Giovanni Malagò, warmly greeting the rights-holders.
He said: “You will turn our competition into great stories. Today we all need these stories, we need something that binds us even more, something that reminds us how sport can be at the service of the humanity and make the world better. We need this energy.”
In his opening remarks, OBS CEO Yiannis Exarchos shared his excitement about having the Games come back to the cradle of winter sports, with the beauty of the Italian Alps serving as a spectacular backdrop for the third time.
“Not only will these Games be visually captivating thanks to incredible sports venues and territories, but they will certainly redefine broadcasting through the widespread implementation of cloud technologies and other innovative solutions and the significant increase of remote production models,” Exarchos said.
Throughout the morning session, OBS updated the broadcasters on their plans to showcase the incredible stories and extraordinary performances of the world’s top athletes. OBS intends to provide MRHs with greater access to the athletes, including more behind-the-scenes content pre- and post-competition to enhance their multi-platform coverage of the Games.
Furthermore, OBS provided them with a detailed technical framework that aims to facilitate their operations on-site and for their remote teams. As part of this framework, broadcasters will be able to rely on an extended range of cloud-based solutions, which will allow them to transmit their content to their home territories more efficiently.
Milano Cortina 2026 emphasised its commitment to delivering sustainable Games and working with OBS and the rights-holders to ensure their operations run smoothly, despite the challenges caused by the venues being spread across Northern Italy.
The Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 will take place from 6 until 22 February, and the Paralympic Games between 6 and 15 March.