04/22/2015 10:07 EDT | Updated 07/16/2015 02:59 EDT

Olympic TV channel aims to go on air in April 2016, a few months ahead of Rio Games

SOCHI, Russia - The IOC plans to launch its digital Olympic TV channel in April 2016, just a few months before the games in Rio de Janeiro.

Olympic Broadcasting Services CEO Yiannis Exarchos says the channel is hiring a staff of almost 100 people based in Madrid to produce programs and features on Olympic athletes and sports to accompany footage of past Olympics.

He says the channel will start broadcasting next April as part of an "aggressive plan" of development.

While details of likely revenue and costs remain sparse, Exarchos said the channel would secure a return on the $600 million investment in 10 years.

The channel is a key part of IOC President Thomas Bach's "Olympic Agenda 2020" reform program. The channel was approved by the full International Olympic Committee in December in Monaco.