CBC announces 13 broadcast partners for PyeongChang

CBC will focus more on standalone branded content, using RBC Training Ground and Petro's Faces of Tomorrow as models.

CBC has announced its full lineup of broadcast partners for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

A total of 13 brands have signed on for the event: RBC, Petro-Canada, Toyota, Bell, Visa, Canadian Tire, Sportchek, Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s Canada, Samsung, Mondelez, Sports Experts and Ancestry. Some, such as RBC and Petro-Canada, are in the midst of multi-year partnerships (RBC is in its third year of five, while Petro-Canada is entering its third year of three).

Mark Thomas, associate director of sports partnerships at the CBC, added that of the new sponsors, Toyota and Bell have also agreed to three-year partnerships, which will include the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and CBC’s Road to the Olympic Games. He said the 13-partner count is on par with the number secured for the the Sochi games in 2014. However, he said the four multi-year partnerships are “unprecedented” for a single Olympic broadcast on CBC.

The nature of most of the integrations is still being developed, but Thomas said the goal is to create as much standalone, custom content. “Coming out of Rio, we talked to a lot of partners about longer-term planning,” he said. “We’re working on developing integrations that are more customized, concepts that are tailored.”

He said with the RBC Training Ground content program and Petro’s The Bond branded content series will serve as models for the new partners. “This will be standalone content that is relevant to the Olympic movement.”

Thomas said partners had no issue with the 14-hour time difference for the games, adding that it lent itself better to live programming than the eight-hour difference from Toronto to Sochi in 2014. “No one’s getting up at all hours of the night to watch the hockey game,” he said. “The time difference mostly plays in our favour. When it’s morning in PyeongChang, that will be Canadian Eastern Standard primetime. The inverse is also true — their primetime is our live morning block. It alleviated any concern from a partnership perspective.”

CBC will also partner once again with Twitter and Snapchat for dedicated social media coverage, with Twitter focusing on highlights and results and Snapchat featuring behind-the-scenes footage from around the event as part of an ongoing live story.