The IOC announced Monday that a selection of clips will air in 77 countries -- in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East -- beginning Wednesday. Viewers can watch the clips on demand where digital video-on-demand rights have not been sold or acquired for exclusive airing. General Electric's NBC conglomerate has secured the broadcast rights for the Olympics in the United States.
The IOC said that its broadcasting services would regularly provide updated content, including highlights, news, and daily clips during the 17 days the games are held. The content will be geo-blocked in each territory.
The IOC pointed out that this is the first time that rights-holding broadcasters and the IOC's channel have made the digital media coverage available for free around the globe. The IOC said it made the decision in part to prevent and discourage piracy.
"The IOC's priority is to ensure that as many people as possible get to experience the magic of the Olympic Games and the inspirational sporting achievements of the Olympic athletes," Timo Lumme, the IOC's director of television and marketing services, said in a prepared statement.
"For the first time in Olympic history we will have complete global online coverage, and the IOC will have its own broadcast channel and content production facilities," he said. "The IOC's channel will make fantastic Olympic footage available where young generations of sports fans are already going for online entertainment and will complement the footage offered in these territories by our broadcast partners across all media platforms."
The international contest will be held in 37 venues, 12 of which were built just for the games. It's also the first Olympics to be produced and broadcast entirely in high-definition television.