Olympic rights holders and others will work from combined space in Beijing

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To support the on-the-ground broadcast production needs of rights holding broadcasters and Olympics Broadcasting Services with an eye toward being more cost effective and sustainable, Beijing built a centralized Main Media Centre to support the operations of coverage of the games across multiple platforms.

In most previous designs, the MMC served as a press center for a wide variety of journalists and crew. Beijing 2022, however, will see the MMC and International Broadcast Centre under one roof.

The new facility was built next to the China National Convention Center, which served as the IBC when Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. At the time, the facility was known as Olympic Green Convention Center.

After the 2022 games, the MMC will serve as an extension to the existing convention center.

Combining the two facilities saved nearly 20,000 square feet (6,000 square meters) of floor space by eliminating duplicative building support and infrastructure space.

Inside, the facility will continue to make use of a modular panel system that will be used in IBCs for the next three Olympics in an effort to cut down on construction waste. These panels divide the space into 12 fitted out compartments and 13 broadcast studios.

The steel panels can then be removed, making the space more suitable for a convention floor. They will then be shipped to and stored in the three different host cities over the next six years or so.

The facility is two levels and includes six Centralised Technical Areas that serve as setups for the vital IT infrastructure required to produce and beam coverage all over the world. By consolidating these zones into clusters, the OBS hopes to save energy and HVAC costs; this equipment normally requires dedicated climate control.

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When the technical areas were spread out in previous IBC designs, each one had to be individually powered and ventilated. 

The Beijing MMC comes in at about 420,000 square feet, with approximately 315,000 square feet dedicated to the IBC and its supporting infrastructure. The OBS also has an ancillary broadcast facility located closer to the mountainous regions used for downhill events. 

Since it’s nearby the 2008 IBC, the new MMC still gives journalists and broadcasts easy access to many key venues, including the National Stadium (commonly known as the “Bird’s Nest”), National Aquatics Centre (“Ice Cube”) and National Indoor Stadium. These were all built for the 2008 games and will be in the spotlight again, with some changes for 2022.

For the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, much of the IBC space was used at reduced capacity once the games took place in 2021, with many rights holders opting to have a reduced footprint in Tokyo due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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