Eurosport Bags The Broadcasting Rights Of The Champions Chess Tour

November 6, 2020

Play Magnus Group has entered into an agreement with Eurosport for the pan-European and Asian broadcasting rights to the 2021 season of the Champions Chess Tour, the first professional online chess tour.

The game will take its place alongside other premium sporting events on Eurosport’s platforms for viewers in more than 60 markets across Europe and Asia. The rights do not apply in Norway.

Play Magnus Group CEO Andreas Thome said: “We are happy and proud for this important collaboration. By partnering with a leading sports network like Eurosport, we are able to bring chess entertainment to a whole new audience and extend our reach globally. Instead of exploring a traditional sale of rights, we have decided to focus on working closely together with Eurosport to develop the sport of chess. At this stage, securing wide distribution is critical for attracting commercial partners for the Champions Chess Tour and building the value of chess broadcast rights over time.”

Trojan Paillot, VP Rights Acquisitions and Distribution at Eurosport, said:“Chess has a great potential to attract a dedicated, global audience and Eurosport has a proven track record in its ability to increase awareness of a sport and establish a solid platform for rights holders to grow their fanbase and attraction towards new territories. Play Magnus Group is known for innovating and modernising a game played by over 650 million people globally. Eurosport will facilitate and fasten the development of the game thanks to a combined linear and digital approach, bringing Chess to the widest number of people through our broadcast and distribution operations.”

The rights for Eurosport do not apply in Norway. Play Magnus Group announced on 15 October 2020 that NRK and TV 2 jointly have purchased the broadcasting rights for The Champions Chess Tour in Norway.

The Champions Chess Tour was started as a response to the Covid-19 outbreak in the spring of 2020, when all physical chess tournaments were cancelled. The first season, which went by the name Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, was the first professional online chess tour and became a great success with over 17 million unique viewers. The tour included 5 tournaments, and 25 of the world’s best players participated.

In the 2021 season of the Champions Chess Tour, which runs from November 2020 to September 2021, Magnus Carlsen and the world’s top players will compete over ten tournaments for a total prize fund of USD 1.5 million. The tour features fast-paced, exciting rapid-format chess with all games played on Beginning on November 22, fans will experience coverage from the world’s best commentators, opportunities to interact with the players, and a modern broadcast production that highlights the excitement and emotions of chess.