Telecom Italia (TIM) has announced that it will be offering live and exclusive coverage of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics (7 February–25 February) on its TIMvision platform and on the Eurosport Player app. The operator stated that the app will give customers a “full immersion” experience, allowing them to watch every second of the Olympics live and to access exclusive virtual-reality (VR) and augmented-reality (AR) content, 360-degree videos and additional feeds. In order to access the content, subscribers must download the free app and click on the section reserved for TIM customers.
The coverage is part of TIM’s two-year broadcasting partnership with U.S. media company Discovery Communications, which designated the operator the “Official Mobile Broadcaster” of the Olympics. Under the agreement, customers also get instant access via the Eurosport Player app to other events, such as the Swimming World Championships, Athletics World Championships, French Open, Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Basketball EuroCup.
TIM’s partnership with Discovery Communications—which owns Eurosport—can be expected to yield many benefits on an ongoing basis, but this opportunity with the Olympics, albeit short-term by nature, seems like it should be a rich one. During the intense two-week period of sporting activity, TIM subscribers who choose to download the Eurosport Player app will be consuming very large amounts of data, because the “immersive” experience afforded by VR, AR and 360-degree video will doubtless require a very large amount at very high speeds. So in terms of sheer data-driven revenue, TIM can expect to do very well with this deal. In addition to those in Italy, TIM subscribers who travel to Pyeongchang to see the Olympics will likely also be interested in at least some features of the app.
Beyond the data revenue, the branding opportunity afforded by the association with the Olympics, as well as with Eurosport’s other content, can only be a positive for TIM. The exclusivity of the access makes it more persuasive, as does the fact that the other athletic events included extend the access beyond the period of the Olympics.