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IOC members discuss possible year-round Olympics channel at summit

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We’ve all grown accustomed to the around-the-clock coverage of the Olympics provided by NBC every two years, but there’s now a possibility that fans will be able to get their Olympic fix year-round.

16 international Olympic officials met over the weekend in Lausanne, Switzerland to discuss Olympic Agenda 2020, a roadmap outlining the future of the Olympic Movement created by IOC President Thomas Bach. According to the AP on Saturday, the leaders present supported a proposal to create a TV channel dedicated to Olympic sports that seeks to “greatly increase the presence of sports and the promotion of the Olympic values year round and worldwide."

The proposal would use the National Geographic Channel as a model for curating digital content and feature sports that might not get the spotlight they normally do during traditional Olympic coverage while aiming to attract younger audiences. Variety notes that it would be a similar setup to something like MLB Network or NFL Network. Future Olympiads themselves will still be seen on NBC, as the network agreed to a $7.75 billion deal in May to keep broadcasting the Games through at least 2032.

Another Olympic Agenda 2020 proposal discussed at the summit was the idea to revamp the host city bidding process and provide “more flexibility” by letting them focus on long-term benefits from the beginning. Should the changes be approved, they would go into effect for the 2024 Summer Games.

Reportedly, the updated process will also place more of an emphasis on “legacy” and encourage potential host cities to maximize the use of venues they already have in place as well as temporary or dismountable venues, thus reducing the risk of infrastructure going unused after the Olympics.

Other proposals include possible changes to the sports program, basing it on disciplines and events as opposed to simply sports, and using $20 million of earmarked money to combat doping and match-fixing. $10 million would go to each, while the World Anti-Doping Agency hopes to have its $10 million matched for research.

The proposals will be refined and updated before being put up for further discussion by IOC members in October. They will then face final approval in December at the Extraordinary IOC Session set to take place in Monaco.