MONACO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee approved on Monday plans to set up its own dedicated digital channel, aimed at providing continuing exposure of the Games throughout the four-year Olympic cycle.
The Olympic channel is expected to cost nearly half a billion euros for the period 2015-2021 with Finance Commission chief Ser Miang Ng predicting it to break even within seven to 10 years.
The bulk of the funding will come from the IOC's funds with national Olympic Committees and international federations adding 72 million euros ($88.44 million) each.
Yannis Exarchos, chairman of the Olympic Broadcasting Services, told an IOC session its main aim would be to continue spreading the Olympic message between Games.
He said the IOC would draw on its vast own archive from the Games but would also give air time to sports that are not yet part of the Olympics.
"The channel will be independent, but it will use synergies of OBS," Exarchos said. "Sometimes it is not wise to reinvent the wheel."
The IOC has also moved the winter and summer Youth Olympics to non-Olympic years so as to have one Olympic competition every year, a fact that would further boost the channel's role as the 'home of the Olympic sports'. ($1 = 0.8141 Euros) (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Alan Baldwin)