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APEX Insight: Over 250 hours of live coverage from the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games will be available on 12 airlines. For the first time, IMG’s agreement with the IOC includes original content from the Olympic Channel.

IMG announced yesterday that it has secured the international in-flight rights for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games, which will take place in PyeongChang from February 9 to 15, and for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. IMG was also the in-flight rights holder for the two previous Olympics, held in Rio and in Sochi, respectively.

IMG is supporting the IOC in its mission to increase access to sport for all, Richard Wise, senior vice-president of Content and Channels at IMG, told APEX Media. “We’ll do our best to distribute [coverage of the Olympic Games] to as many customers as we can,” he said. “For the Olympics, it’s about exposure.”

“For the Olympics, it’s about exposure.” – Richard Wise, IMG

The agreement means over 200 hours of live coverage from PyeongChang will be aired on IMG’s Sport 24 channel, which is exclusively offered on Panasonic Avionics’s eXTV television service. Sport 24 Extra, which launched in June 2016 to supplement Sport 24, will feature an additional 50 hours of live Olympics coverage.

Sport 24 is currently available to a potential monthly audience of over 11 million passengers on 12 airlines, including American Airlines, Emirates, Lufthansa, Qatar and WestJet. The PyeongChang Olympics coverage will be shown on over 700 aircraft, compared to 495 aircraft for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Because NBC holds the American broadcasting rights for both the Summer and Winter Olympics, IMG’s distribution rights do not apply for US airlines. But IMG has negotiated a deal with NBC to air Olympics programming on American Airlines’ international flights.

For the first time, IMG’s agreement with the IOC includes the Olympic Channel, which features original content such as documentaries, athlete interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. Content from the Olympic Channel has been available on Sport 24 since the end of last year.