The International Olympic Committee (IOC), through Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), has announced it is preparing to bring the magic of sport to fans’ screens in a way that’s never been seen before at the Olympic Games.
OBS, responsible for producing the live television, radio and digital coverage as the Games’ host broadcaster, is ready to deliver “Games of a new era” by introducing new innovations designed to transport fans to the heart of the action. This reflects Paris 2024’s vision of hosting “Games Wide Open”, with coverage set to be the most immersive in Olympic history.
More than 11,000 hours of content – up from 10,200 at Tokyo 2020 – will be broadcast and will tell the stories of the world’s best athletes in new ways, while also capturing the vibrant atmosphere in France and its capital city. Combined with behind-the-scenes footage, athlete and coach interviews, and comprehensive pre- and post-competition coverage, fans will be able to get even closer to the Games, across all platforms.
“These are Games that truly inspire and excite us, urging OBS to push the boundaries, not only in our broadcasting, but also in the way we convey the stories of athletes, sports, the city and the host country,” said Yiannis Exarchos, OBS CEO.
In order to enhance the storytelling of the Games, OBS will introduce cinematic lenses for the first time. These cine-style cameras, with a shallow depth of field, will draw viewers into the intensity of the sporting competition – capturing athletes’ emotions, fans’ reactions and the incredible atmosphere in the stands, in a way that has never been seen before in Olympic Games’ coverage.
Additionally, a combination of live data and new technologies will give fans a thrilling display of athletes’ performances in minute detail. Enhanced by dynamic, data-driven graphics and a multitude of camera angles for replays, the viewers’ experience will be transformed, immersing them in their favourite sports.
This technological advancement not only offers a deeper appreciation for the dedication of Olympians, but also provides a window into their performance through rich, meaningful data. For instance, viewers will be able to see intricate details such as a diver’s jump height, the duration of air time, and their speed when entering the water. Similarly, in sports like tennis, it allows spectators to understand the lightning-quick reactions of players when faced with a serve.
Paris 2024 will be produced in Ultra High Definition (UHD) High Dynamic Range (HDR), allowing viewers to see four times more detail than in full High Definition. Add to that 5.1.4 immersive audio, which will offer viewers a more realistic, three-dimensional sound experience, and make them feel like they are right in the middle of the action.
There’s innovation behind the scenes too. Using Alibaba’s global cloud infrastructure, OBS Live Cloud will be the main method of distributing the live broadcast signals for the first time during Paris 2024.
The use of cloud-based technology enables OBS to achieve “more with less”, offering Media Rights-Holders smarter, more agile and highly efficient solutions. This, for example, could allow broadcasters to run part of their operations remotely, from their home studios rather than on-site in Paris. Ultimately, this solution will drastically reduce physical space and power requirements at the venues and the International Broadcast Centre – the main hub of the broadcast operations for OBS and Media Rights-Holders during the Games.
OBS will continue to fine-tune its production over the coming months as the world counts down to the Opening Ceremony on 26 July, when the Olympic Games Paris 2024 officially begin. They will run until 11 August, before the Paralympic Games then take place from 28 August until 8 September.