Infront confirms cycling world championship deals
Infront Sports and Media has confirmed a raft of broadcast rights agreements for the upcoming UCI Road World Championships.
The cycling event, to be held from 22nd to 29th September in the Italian city of Florence this year, will be shown on some 30 television networks across the world.
The UCI signed a comprehensive agreement to have the Infront agency market its world championship media rights a year ago which gave it guaranteed income for the duration of the 2013-2016 contract period.
According to a joint release from the UCI, cycling's international governing body, and Infront, the number of licence holders as well as the overall exposure for the event is higher than any previous cycling world championships.
New broadcasters include Al Jazeera in the Middle East, Charlton in Israel, and Direct TV across South America.
Both France Televisions and BeIN Sport will broadcast the event in Scandinavia, while the Viasat Group will show the world championships across its free-to-air and pay-TV platforms in Scandinavia and the Baltics.
Public broadcaster partnerships in Belgium (VRT and RTBF), the UK (BBC), the Netherlands (NOS), Italy (Rai), and Switzerland (SRG) have all been renewed, while RTV in Slovenia, Sport 1 in Hungary, Czech TV in the Czech Republic, Polsat in Poland, and Slovak TV in Slovakia have all licensed the rights.
Elsewhere, the event Infront and the UCI have signed deals with Universal Sports in the US, NHK in Japan, CCTV in China, Supersport in Africa and Globosat in Brazil. In addition to Rogers Sportsnet in Canada, French language channel RDS will broadcast for the first time. Contracts for worldwide news access have also been closed with SNTV and Perform.
The UCI will also make both live and highlights coverage available on its dedicated-YouTube channel in territories where licensing terms allow it.
Although Eurosport Asia Pacific will be broadcasting the event across Asia, Eurosport's pan-European network opted not to buy the rights this year.
In an interview with SportsPro earlier this year, Laurent Prud'homme, director of acquisitions at Eurosport, explained the rationale behind that decision.
"We used to broadcast UCI world championships," he said. "But unfortunately the UCI had very high expectations for their world championships – financial expectations. We can understand this, but when people are facing a complicated economic situation, sometimes they want to get the money immediately and we were not inclined to match their expectations because cycling is really interesting for us, but we have to always bear in mind that Eurosport is pay-TV, and we have to provide our viewers with exclusive content, and we were not able to be exclusive on the UCI world championships."