Paris 2024: Editorial approaches with Olympic TV channels and studios galore for the Games at France Télévisions

With just over one month until the Paris 2024 Olympics begins, French rights holder for the Games, France Télévisions, is gearing up for its coverage that will run across three TV channels for the duration of the tournament.

On how France Télévisions is approaching the Games editorially, Pascal Golomer, the broadcaster’s deputy director of sports, responsible for editorial, tells SVG Europe: “We’re going to broadcast the Olympics on three channels simultaneously, so it’s going to be a huge challenge for us to be able to show as many different competitions as possible.”

France TV will broadcast across its channels France 2 and France 3 plus Paris 24 from 9am to midnight daily throughout the Olympics. For the Paralympics, there will be one live feed from 9am to 11pm that will be broadcast alternatively on France 2 and France 3, plus replay all night long totalling 300 hours of coverage.

“There’s one thing we won’t do on the two other channels, which is live chat. For our digital channel it’s going to be possible for the audience to chat with the commentators, with the presenters. That’s quite new for us”

The challenge for Golomer is to develop distinct themes or personalities for each channel.

He says: “We have to find the identity for each of the channels. Channel 2 is going to be the best moments of the Olympics, meaning we cannot miss a medal from the French athletes, so we must switch from one competition to another one. We can’t miss something big on Channel 2.

Read more Paris 2024: France Télévisions on making the most of being the home turf rights holder with a plethora of commentators and ENG crews

“On Channel 3 we’re going to be on the team sports, because all the French teams are qualified. We’re going to broadcast hockey, for example, and usually we don’t broadcast hockey at the Olympics. But because the two French teams are qualified, we are going to show it. But we have to mix small sports, like hockey and football, basketball and volleyball, so we have to make a choice every day.

“Of course, what we hope is that we are going to be able to propose, for example, basketball in the afternoon, volleyball early in the evening, plus football from 9pm to 11pm. We cannot predict all the programmation for each sport from day one to day 17, so let’s hope that we’ll be able to offer something interesting, inspiring, and captivating to the audience every minute! The main challenge would be not to miss anything for sure,” he notes.

France Télévisions is bringing 10 hours a day of live coverage of the flame and its torchbearers to viewers on its Paris 22024 digital channel, for the first time in the history of the flame’s journey

Twitch for younger audiences

The digital channel for the Games, Paris 2024, will be defined by its focus on a younger audience, says Golomer. This includes an interactive social element.

Golomer explains: “There’s one thing we won’t do on the two other channels, which is live chat. For our digital channel it’s going to be possible for the audience to chat with the commentators, with the presenters. That’s quite new for us. We have a Twitch channel. Usually we use the Twitch channel to make experiments, but we thought that it could be a good bonus for this digital channel to have a live chat.

“We will call it Fan zone. Let’s hope it’s going to be something fun,” continues Golomer. “There will be moderators, of course, to be sure that people won’t insult the commentators because they’re not pro-French enough (sometimes that happens!). That will be new for us. We have tested it during Roland-Garros technically, to be sure that everything is okay.

“It could be a good, big test for the future,” continues Golomer. “It could become an additional offering for us. When we have a rugby game for example, on Channel 2, we could tell the audience to comment on the game, ask questions, so go to the platform – and you’ll be able to chat with us. That would be a very good test, but big test.”

Content on the digital channel will focus primarily on younger sports, such as 3×3 basketball, skateboarding, breaking, sport climbing and BMX. “The sports that we think could attract the younger audience,” states Golomer.

“But of course, it can be also a complementary channel to the others,” he adds. “We could use it sometimes in the evening when you have athletics and you have a football game with a French team, and you have also fencing with maybe a medal for the French team, then maybe fencing will be on the digital channel because we have no other choice because we have only three channels.”

However, he says: “If a French athlete could get a medal on the sport climbing, it’s going to be moved to Channel 2 for a larger audience.”

There will be two editors-in-chief who will have to make the decisions on what will be appearing on each of the three channels throughout every day. “It’s going to be quite challenging,” says Golomer.

Channelling studios

France TV is working with three physical studios. One in Club France, in the Grande Halle de la Villette, in the east of Paris. This is the home of Team France and its 900 athletes competing in the Games and the studio located out the front of the building will be dedicated to Channel 3.

Another, for Channel 2, will be located at Trocadéro, which will have amazing views of the Eiffel Tower. It will be used for the news programmes including those every day at 1pm and 8pm, and the morning show.

Finally, Paris 2024 will have a studio at the France TV HQ. Says Golomer: “This one is smaller; we don’t need big studio. But because of the live chat [that we’ll be running on that channel], the presenter is going to be on the couch, quite cool and relaxed, with the camera moving around. It will be a bit different from the two others.”

Remote production for the three studios will be based at the France TV headquarters also.

Coverage of the Olympics will be shown on France Télévisions’ linear channels, France 2 and France 3, in parallel to the Paris 2024 digital channel.

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