Olympics Media GIF

Olympic bosses ban unofficial media from using GIFs of the Games


By Seb Joseph, News editor

August 5, 2016 | 3 min read

Sports broadcasters looking to capture the best moments of Rio 2016 in a GIF will draw the ire of Olympic bosses after it emerged they are banned as part of a wider attempt to protect its commercial value.

Rio 2016

Olympic bosses ban unofficial broadcasters from using GIFs of the games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has banned all media except for those holding rights from sharing “sound or moving” images or content from this year’s games.

It stipulates: “The use Olympic material transformed into graphic animated formats such as animated GIFs (i.e, GIFV), GFY, WebM or short video formats such as Vines and others is expressly prohibited.”

While the ban only applies to media, Olympic bosses had previously tried to prevent spectators from sharing videos and images of London 2012 events, a move they later admitted was unenforceable.

Some fans have voiced their bemusement at the move on social media, sharing advice on how to flout the regulation and not get blacklisted by Olympic enforcers (see below).

It’s the latest attempt by the IOC to limit the perceived threat to its commercial earnings posed by the speed at which content is now shared. Media rights are a vital component of the business model supporting the tournament, with the amount it has earned over the last four Olympics and Winter Olympics games at a colossal $2.6bn.

To view more marketing insights into Rio 2016 visit The Drum’s Olympics hub here.

Olympics Media GIF

More from Olympics

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +