Discovery brings “cinematic vision” to Winter Games
January 24, 2022
Discovery has announced plans that it says will “push the physical and virtual boundaries of sports production to new extremes and mark a new frontier in the coverage of the Olympic Games”.With just over a week to go until the Opening Ceremony of Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, Discovery has revealed how it intends to deploy on-screen innovations and in-depth storytelling to help deliver its objective to unlock the power of the Olympics for audiences across Europe (excluding Russia).
- Viewers can watch all of the Olympics only on discovery+ (in selected markets) and Eurosport’s digital services from February 2nd.
Discovery’s Beijing 2022 operation in numbers:
- ● Broadcast and streaming to 50 countries and territories in 19 languages ● 1,200 live hours produced for viewers across Discovery’s linear and digital platforms, including discovery+, Eurosport and the Eurosport app ● 107 winter sports experts and presenters with a combined tally of 95 Olympic medals. ● 13,701 commentator sessions ● 3,254 km of fibre optic cable used in its broadcast operations, enough for a round trip between Beijing and Tokyo.
Andrew Georgiou, President of Sport, Discovery said: “For the second time in six months Discovery viewers will be treated to a stunning Olympic menu of incredible action, top on-screen talent, analysis, innovation and entertainment, on the only place to watch all of the Olympics – discovery+ and Eurosport. We showed in Tokyo that we could deliver exceptional and unique Olympic Games coverage, even in the middle of a pandemic. For Beijing 2022, our unrivalled line-up of experts, industry-leading technology and ambitious approach by placing all the live action on discovery+ alongside real-life entertainment content will once again engage viewers for longer both during and after the Games. We are really excited to be taking our viewers on a winter sports journey like never before, and we know our audiences will discover and enjoy new insights, stories and highlights as Discovery unlocks the power of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.”
Discovery at the forefront of innovation
Discovery’s Cube will again continue to push the technological boundaries in broadcasting and studio development. The Cube creates an entire virtual world, beyond any sports studio seen before, depicting a striking mountain hideaway embedded in the face of a snow-capped mountain. As the viewer is brought closer, the experience is revealed to be a vast cinematic winter resort, offering limitless immersive presentation and analysis positions on multiple levels of the resort. This architectural and cinematic vision has taken 12 months to bring to life. Discovery says it will create a more believable world for presenters in the studio, who will actually be able to see all the virtual elements in the space and, as a result, make the experience feel more real for the viewer at home. Bespoke avatars built to closely resemble athletes from specific winter disciplines, will float in the Cube, so ‘Team Discovery’ experts will be able to walk around them and analyse the minutiae of an athletes’ movements and performance in more detail than ever before. In addition, background avatars will populate the studio space, adding atmosphere and life to the environment, and will even be transported around the resort by a functioning ski lift. Bringing together a range of different avatars and winter environments, Discovery’s Cube can create thousands of different combinations to illustrate its winter sports storytelling. Unlocking the power of the sport through the Olympics
Telling the stories that make the Olympic Games the unique event it is remains integral to unlocking the power of sport. Fans of the Games will be taken on a journey on discovery+ and Eurosport’s platforms as the Road to Beijing draws ever closer. Viewers will be given an access-all-areas pass into the sacrifices to takes to reach an Olympic Games as well as being treated to never-been-told stories involving some of the most unlikely Olympic icons. One Last Push, a Discovery Eurosport original, goes behind-the-scenes with Summer Olympic legend Greg Rutherford as he bids to represent Team GB in the four-man bob at Beijing 2022 – and Discovery Eurosport is there all the way as, in a twist, ‘Team Deen’ – led by pilot Lamin Deen – evolves throughout the programme. The one-hour documentary premieres on Eurosport across Europe (exc UK) on February 1st nd on discovery+ in the UK from February 2nd. A Brilliant Curling Story, an Olympic Channel documentary and produced by Frank Marshall and Mandalay Sports Media, take an in-depth look at just how, despite a lack of funding, five unassuming women from Scotland united for a shot at Olympic glory to win the hearts of a nation. A Brilliant Curling Story premieres on discovery+ in the UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Italy on January 24th and will air for the first time across the Eurosport network on January 31st. Discovery’s approach to local storytelling is highlighted with the release of programming that will excite and engage local sports fans. In the lead-up to Beijing 2022, Discovery in hockey-mad Finland, will go behind-the-scenes with the national ice hockey team as they step up their preparation for the Games in Leijonat kohti Pekingiä 2022 (translated: Lions Road to Beijing 2022). The 10-part documentary starts on Discovery’s free-to-air channel TV5 on January 24th. Eurosport in France, meanwhile, will broadcast a feature-length documentary on freestyle skier Kevin Rolland. Resilience tells the story behind the near-fatal accident suffered by Rolland and captures the emotional moment he meets his new-born child for the first time. Discovery’s 360-offering in the lead-up to Beijing 2022 will give the fans the chance to get up close and personal with some of the athletes – including Dorothea Wierer, Andre Hoeflich and Charlotte Kalla – as they chase Olympic glory in Athletes to Watch, presented by Bridgestone (10 episodes). During Games-time itself, and in addition to the live action across discovery+ and Eurosport’s platforms, daily digital show Beijing Today, sponsored by Bridgestone, will bring fans the latest reaction and analysis from the day’s action. Scott Young, Senior Vice President, Content and Production, Discovery, said: “Discovery’s ambition for Beijing 2022 is a feat of live and remote production like no other. With discovery+ we are the only place to watch all of the Olympics, presenting all 109 events, the most ever at an Olympic Winter Games, from the city venues in Beijing to the mountain regions of Yanging and Zhangjiakou. Discovery has every region, every venue and event covered for viewers throughout Europe. “The Cube has been completely reimagined and expanded for Beijing 2022 and will be the ultimate storytelling tool. An eye-catching part of our coverage, we see it as sitting at the forefront of broadcast innovation by combining cinematic vision and gaming technology to revolutionise sports presentation and analysis. The studio is all about helping our talented team of experts, presenters and producers tell the best stories in the most compelling way. Young added: “In addition to our own team, we will be inviting the Friends and Family of the athletes to be a central part of our coverage. This outstanding initiative, developed by OBS, is designed to give our viewers at home a more immersive experience within our Olympic coverage. Discovery will give fans the opportunity to connect with the Olympic Winter Games in new ways, offering a ring side seat as the athletes connect to their loved ones back home who could not travel. We are fully ready to capture the passion of competition, every athlete’s story and unlock the power of the Olympics Games.”