The Olympic Channel has passed the one billion view mark ©Olympic Channel

The Olympic Channel has passed one billion views on its online and social media platforms, general manager Mark Parkman has revealed here. 

In an update at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Lima last month, it was claimed that the Channel had nearly reached the one billion mark.

Parkman confirmed during the SPORTELMonaco convention that it had since been surpassed.

It marks a huge increase since April, when Parkman said they were approaching half-a-billion views on the online Channel and its various social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.

The American, a former operations executive at Olympic Broadcasting Services, admitted the "majority" of these had come from social media, adding that he is hopeful those viewers will eventually translate into people tuning in directly to the Channel itself.

"Social media is where people are consuming the content," Parkman said.

"The key is to take social viewers and get them into the content on the platform to engage in a longer session."

Questioned by insidethegames on how exactly the Olympic Channel collates its viewership data, Parkman added: "It is based on what the social platforms count as a video view.

"So Facebook is three seconds, YouTube is 30 seconds and Twitter is five to 10 seconds.

"The average viewing time is almost four minutes on a lot of the content and on some of the original programming, which can last between 10 and 12 minutes, the completion rate is between 90 and 95 per cent, which is incredibly strong."

The Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Torch lighting in Ancient Olympia was broadcast on the Channel ©Getty Images
The Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Torch lighting in Ancient Olympia was broadcast on the Channel ©Getty Images

Parkman also revealed that the Channel would begin a period "heavily focused" on promoting the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on November 1 as part of a "joint effort" between the Channel and the IOC.

The IOC and the Channel have held discussions on how best to promote the Games, Parkman said, amid a perceived lack of interest in the event, particularly in South Korea.

Ticket sales are still dismally low at this point, with Pyeongchang 2018 revealing earlier this month that they had only sold just over 30 per cent for the Winter Olympics.

The Channel, which was given €490 million (£440 million/$576 million) in funding over a seven-year period between 2014 and 2021, has already started its series of programming geared towards Pyeongchang, including with live coverage of the lighting of the Olympic Torch in Ancient Olympia in Greece earlier today.

They have also begun to create content specifically targeted at South Korea.

"Our focus starting in November will be heavily centred on Pyeongchang, the athletes and their stories," added Parkman.

"It is giving the Games promotion and wider exposure."