Announced today by NBC Sports Group’s Universal Sports arm, the Olympic sports channel has signed a five year deal to air a whole slew of skiing events including Alpine Skiing, Ski Jumping, Cross Country, Nordic Combined and Snowboarding. Universal Sports will get to show events from the International Ski Federation starting this year and run through the 2015-16 season.
We have the official announcement from Universal Sports.
Multi-discipline agreement ensures U.S. coverage of top international skiing and snowboarding events for next five seasons
Network will be home to the 2013 FIS Alpine and Nordic World Championships
Los Angeles, CA—June 27, 2011 – Universal Sports network, the premier destination for Olympic-related sports programming, and international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media have announced an exclusive media rights agreement for a comprehensive number of International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup events through the 2015-16 season. The deal covers each of the World Cup races for FIS Alpine Skiing, Ski Jumping, Cross Country, Nordic Combined, Snowboard and Freestyle, or almost 200 events per season, beginning in the fall of 2011.The new agreement includes rights in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on all platforms, including television, on-line and mobile.
“The agreement with Infront allows our network to continue bringing multi-platform coverage of the FIS World Cup events to millions of winter sport enthusiasts across the U.S.,” said David Sternberg, CEO of Universal Sports. “We are excited to showcase some of the greatest athletes on the planet competing week in and week out at stunning venues around the world.”
“The United States is one of the major sports markets worldwide and – with its successful athletes and prestigious races – also a key nation in skiing,” said Bruno Marty, Infront’s Executive Director Winter Sports. “The prolonged agreement with Universal Sports ensures that the extensive US audience is connected to the FIS World Cup events on a long-term basis. Universal Sports has acquired the rights to transmit an impressive 1,000 events to TV screens across the country over the next five years – in turn this will generate comprehensive exposure for one of the most popular winter sports in the world.”
“In the past you’d see one or two big races broadcast on TV each season, but the FIS World Cup is about a full season of skiing with a million factors coming into play at each race,” said Bode Miller, a five-time Olympic medalist. “The guys who are fast all season are able to process all of those factors, break them down and take the right amount of risk. You can’t see that in one race. It’s cool that Universal Sports is stepping up to show the full World Cup story.”
As part of the deal, Universal Sports has also licensed three dedicated magazine programs on FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Alpine Skiing. Each magazine series is made up of regular 25-minute shows featuring race action, interviews, backstage shots and stories of interest from the world’s top winter sports resorts.
Finally, in a separate agreement with Infront, Universal Sports has also acquired the U.S. media rights for the 2013 FIS Alpine and Nordic World Ski Championships. These biennial events will take place from February 4 to 17, 2013 in Schladming, Austria, and February 20 to March 4, 2013 in Val di Fiemme, Italy, respectively.
That will do it.