The European Broadcasting Union has launched a pioneering digital streaming platform, underpinning its commitment to enhance the amount of free public access to sports content across Europe.
Eurovision Sport is the EBU’s first direct-to-consumer service and marks a watershed in live sports broadcasting.
Thousands of hours of content are set to be streamed in a single digital destination – complementing existing coverage provided by public service media – and showcasing every second of a wide variety of events.
The first in which there is an Irish interest is the World Aquatics Championships taking place in Doha this week.
Eurovision Sport is working alongside the EBU’s network of public service members, including RTÉ, to ensure audiences can enjoy end-to-end coverage of a host of Olympic sports from athletics to gymnastics, skiing, swimming and many more.
It will feature events from World to European Championships, multi-sport events and national championships and be the first sports streaming service to provide true gender equality across all its live sports content.
Amongst the initial raft of competitions to be broadcast on the digital platform, Eurovision Sport will show every minute of this month’s World Aquatics Championships in Doha (Feb 2-18), the upcoming International Biathlon Union World Championships (Feb 7-18) in Czechia and next month’s World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow (March 1-3).
The EBU has partnered with Nagravision to develop and operate the Eurovision Sport platform.
“Eurovision Sport is a game-changer for sports fans across Europe and right around the world.,” said Noel Curran, formerly of RTÉ and currently the Director General of the EBU.
“We firmly believe that sport should be for all. Our public service media Members already bring many of the world’s leading sporting events to audiences free-to-air and this new digital platform will provide wrap-around coverage, so they never have to miss a moment of their favourite event.”
“Currently only a third of sports fans have access to premium sports channels. Through its free streaming, we hope Eurovision Sport will democratise access to live sports coverage and help grow individual sports through visibility and engagement, encouraging greater participation and making sure we are all ‘united by sport’.”
The EBU currently manages the media rights for 14 sports on behalf of public service media – delivering over 43,000 hours of sport a year through agreements with 28 international sports federations.
“With the support of public service media, we’ll be able to provide sports federations with an unrivalled shop window for their sports around the world,” added another former RTÉ Executive Glen Killane who is the Executive Director of Sport at the EBU.
“In this fragmented digital world, it is difficult and expensive for sports fans to find and access the sport they love and for Sports Federations to attract new audiences. This digital platform provides a solution to both of those problems. Together with our Members, the EBU will ensure that every second of our events are available to all for free in every country in Europe and around the world.”
“Diversity and inclusion are also at the heart of this platform. The EBU and our Members have the most gender balanced range of sports rights in the market and women’s sports will be a key part of our ongoing strategy. Eurovision Sport will be a trustworthy and safe place for women athletes and fans.”
Eurovision Sport is accessible now via desktop and mobile website – eurovisionsport.com – as an app for android and iOS mobile and tablet devices, and, later in the year, via Connected TVs and selected free ad-supported streaming television channels.
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