Eurovision Sport Launches New Free To Air ‘Sharing Channel’

May 13, 2020

Eurovision Sport has launched its new Sharing Channel for EBU Members, with a full slate of top sports content available for our Members to download free of charge, and, in many cases, with the rights already cleared on their behalf.

The initiative comes with European countries still subject to lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning a continuing freeze on hosting international sports events in most territories. However, rights owners are being encouraged to consider using the channel to gain visibility for their national events, as they come back on stream. These could include innovative new formats, such as e-Sports competitions.

Content available between 11 and 15 May includes a range of Olympic sports such as cycling (classic stages of the 2011 Tour de France, plus highlights from recent UCI BMX World Championships), athletics (highlights from the 2019 World Championships), swimming (highlights from the inaugural edition of the International Swimming League), canoeing (ICF World Cup highlights) and a variety of sport-themed shows.

Other themed content includes sports less familiar to the Eurovision Sport portfolio, such as motor sports (FIA Formula Regional International Championship Europe ), with touring car racing, women’s sport and extreme and e-Sports strands also in the pipeline, plus a range of other top Olympic sports content, including triathlon, gymnastics and equestrian sport.

EBU Members are being encouraged to contribute to the channel with content ideas, including:
•    Their two best sports documentaries (Eurovision Sport would assess and clear any rights required for pan-European exploitation);
•    The best and most innovative formats they have used over the past weeks to exploit sport content.

Meanwhile, access to the platform of WOCHIT, Eurovision Sport’s technical partner, has been extended to all EBU Members, giving them the opportunity to browse dedicated short clips and relevant sports content for Social Media.

Rights owners including LEN, the European Swimming Federation, and ÖSV, the Austrian Skiing Association, have shared short-form content from their top athletes on the platform in recent days.

An Editorial Board including EBU Members and EBU permanent services (from Eurovision Sport, Eurovision News and Eurovision Services) has been created in order to:
•    Drive the mid- to long-term programming of the Eurovision Sport Sharing Channel;
•    Offer relevant additional content from Members, such as national sporting events and documentaries;
•    Stimulate the exchange of technical solutions to adapt and enrich content, such as remote editing, commentary, etc;
•    Stimulate an exchange of programme formats and ideas on how Members can engage audiences through archive usage.

Eurovision Sport’s goal is to maintain the Editorial Board in the future to continue exchanges of best practice.

Franck Choquard, Eurovision Sport’s Head of Content & Servicing, said: “With no more live international sports events scheduled in the next few months, the Eurovision Sport Sharing Channel has been created to provide a resource for alternative sports scheduling content on behalf of our Members. With a range of themed sports programming scheduled, plus some unique sports documentaries, the channel offers both rights-owners and our Members the chance to air sports content that will continue to engage audiences across Europe.

“What’s more, we hope that this initiative will provoke an exchange of content, ideas and best practice between Members and the sports community that will continue to be of value long after the present crisis has abated.”

Runar Østmo, Chair of the EBU Sports Committee, added: “At this special and critical time, with populations across Europe subject to lockdown, the ability of Public-Service media to reach into every home has never been clearer. On behalf of EBU members, I welcome the Eurovision Sport Sharing Channel initiative, which underlines the value of being part of our union, enabling us to share top sports content at a time when live coverage is unavailable. I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank all of our partner federations who have agreed to share their valuable archives with Eurovision Sport to make this happen.”

Cédric Rampelberg, Head of Media Rights at ASO, owner of the Tour de France and other top cycling races, said: “It is our pleasure to provide, in collaboration with INA, access to our comprehensive video archive of cycling’s most historic and prestigious race to our friends and partners, the Members of the EBU. Through public service media, we can be sure that exciting and unforgettable moments from classic stages of the Tour de France are shared as widely as possible across Europe, and continue to provide inspiration and consolation to TV audiences at this difficult time.”