Universal to provide extensive Cup coverage
American ski racing fans learned the Universal Sports network has acquired the rights to broadcast FIS World Cup events for the next five seasons, and in a separate deal has locked in rights to the 2013 FIS Alpine and Nordic world ski championships. Universal announced the agreement with FIS marketing company Infront Sports and Media Tuesday (June 27).
The agreement gives Universal U.S. rights to World Cup events in alpine, ski jumping, cross country, nordic combined, snowboard and freestyle. The rights extend into Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and include television, on-line and mobile platforms.
“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 U.S. 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.