Intel and the International Olympic Committee have announced a partnership, bringing new technologies to the Olympic Games. The chipmaker will be an official worldwide sponsor of the Games through 2024, and has committed to bringing 360-degree video, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality to the Olympic home viewing experience.
IOC President Thomas Bach stated that the partnership is part of the committee’s goal to use new technology and enhance the viewing experience. Ratings-wise, they also want to keep as much as their audience engaged as possible. The 2016 Rio games were down more than 30% in the key 18-34 demographic.
NBC averaged 3.6 million viewers in that demographic, while the games were streamed by 50 million viewers who watched a combined 3.4 billion minutes via their browsers, mobile devices, and other connected devices. The overwhelming amount of success clearly shows that viewers want to view the Games, but in less traditional ways than they have before. Bach stated during a press conference that “Sport cannot wait anymore for people to come to sport, sport has to go where they are.” This shows that the committee is willing to use technology to grow their total audience, instead of worrying about the traditional TV ratings metrics.
The committee is also looking to replenish its sponsors after losing McDonald’s, AT&T, Hilton, and Citigroup over the past week. With the new partnership with Intel, the chipmaker will broadcast 16 live events and on-demand virtual reality events. Additionally, it’ll use drones for entertainment purpose during the Olympic Games. 360-degree camera technology will also be used to show off the Games, while 5G platforms will be used during the games as well.
Intel’s Chief Exectuve stated that negotiations for this deal started around the time of CES 2017 in January – allowing for enough planning to get things done and have something in place for the Winter Olympics next year.
For Intel, this is a chance for them to show their technological skills off to the masses in new and exciting ways. For the IOC, it’s a chance to show that they can adapt and grow with an ever-changing viewership climate that watches in more ways than ever before.