Zug, Switzerland – The International Ski Federation (FIS) and Infront Sports & Media are extending their collaboration in respect to news coverage and distribution of the FIS World Cup competitions for the 2013/14 and 2014/2015 seasons. The extended agreement was signed today in the presence of the sports media community at Sportel, Monaco. As a major element of the project, the free distribution of Freestyle and Snowboard news clips to broadcasters will be extended. In addition, the official FIS YouTube channels will, from this season onwards, feature Alpine, Nordic, Freestyle and Snowboard clips – available free of charge to fans worldwide*.
News project featuring various FIS disciplines
The production of video news releases (VNRs) for various FIS disciplines is now into its fourth successful season - providing broadcasters and fans with valuable content and the sports with higher exposure. Infront’s dedicated production and post-production unit produces the clips for all FIS Alpine, Cross Country, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Snowboard and Freestyle World Cup events where Infront manages media rights. Over the past three seasons, this distribution of quality coverage directly from the competitions has helped to increase the international reach of the FIS events across the world.
Free access to Snowboard and Freestyle clips for broadcasters
Under the extended agreement, in order to more extensively promote the two youth oriented disciplines – the FIS Snowboard World Cup and FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup - broadcasters will continue to be provided with broadcast-standard quality coverage of these events through the web portal (www.news.infrontams.tv) free-of-charge. Each Snowboard and Freestyle feed features competition highlights including beauty shots, the top three final runs along with interviews and podium coverage. A detailed run down is made available in English with the news provided within four hours from the end of each competition (apart from overseas events).
As a service to the fans, Snowboard and Freestyle news programming will continue to be made available via the established dedicated players on the FIS website www.fis-ski.com, which will see a complete overhaul before the end of October. In addition, the National Ski Associations have the possibility of embedding the FIS Snowboard and Freestyle News Players – dedicated FIS online video modules into their own websites - all 100% accessible worldwide.
FIS YouTube channels with extended offer for fans
As a major novelty this year, clips across all disciplines produced by Infront will be made available on the official FIS YouTube channels www.youtube.com/fis. This includes Alpine and Nordic events of which three minute clips will be made available by Infront within six hours from the end of each race and offered free of charge to fans around the world*.
Sarah Lewis, FIS Secretary General, said: “The popularity of the video news releases over recent years has remained consistent and was a clear motivator for continuing the service. With its post-production, distribution and digital media expertise, Infront supports us in boosting our sport’s coverage on various channels and around the world. Distributing the FIS World Cups programming through all available media platforms is highly appreciated by the fans and with the free material we can even offer an additional benefit to our broadcast partners.”
Bruno Marty, Executive Director Winter Sports at Infront, said: “The extension of the project for two seasons is a result of its appreciation by fans and broadcasters. Together with the FIS and all national skiing federations, our overall ambition to increase audience interest by promoting and distributing the FIS World Cup programming through television as well as digital media remains. In this spirit, we are focusing on the development of both the established and emerging disciplines to reach new audiences and increase levels of exposure year on year.”
Boost of exposure underlined by 2012/13 figures
The 2012/13 news coverage for the FIS Snowboard and FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup events boosted awareness and provided valuable extended exposure for the sports. The programming amounted to the production of 140 video news releases (a total of ten hours) with over 130 different worldwide media and broadcasters distributing up to 100 hours of coverage across TV and online platforms.
Access to the news coverage for all other events also proved popular. There were a total of 331 edited videos produced which equated to 17 hours of programming - all accessible across the FIS websites. Access to the coverage totalled over 530,000 page views with FIS Cross Country and FIS Alpine coverage as two of the most popular.
Magazine programming for in-depth event coverage
In addition to the news project, Infront also produces weekly TV magazine programming and distributes programmes throughout the winter season including the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Report, the FIS Snowboard World Cup Magazine and the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup Magazine. Each magazine series is made up of 16x25 minute episodes and provided to broadcasters via satellite, tape or ftp download.
*Excluding only Germany and the United States where exclusive broadcast agreements are in place.