Zug, Switzerland - Referring to the current coverage on negotiations between SportA (the sports rights agency of ARD and ZDF) and Infront Sports & Media in regard to the media rights for the upcoming FIS Nordic Skiing World Cup events in Kuusamo, Finland, we remark the following:
Infront Sports & Media has been in negotiations with SportA (not with ZDF directly) about extensive and long-term media rights to FIS events for several months.
As a partner of all national ski federations that host FIS World Cup events (except the Austrian Ski Federation, ÖSV), Infront is collectively distributing the media rights to all FIS World Cup events (except the ones staged in Austria) in the disciplines of Alpine skiing, ski jumping, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, snowboard and freestyle. The rights for the Finnish FIS World Cup competitions have been completing Infront's portfolio since this year.
As a result of Infront’s global marketing activities, FIS events are the best covered winter sport on electronic media worldwide.
The partnership between ARD/ ZDF (represented by SportA) and Infront has been a successful one in terms of the exploitation of media rights for a number of sporting events for many years.
It became clear several weeks ago during the discussions that the current contract negotiations won't be completed in time for the start of the FIS Nordic Ski World Cup in Finland. As a result, we offered the media rights for the FIS events in Kuusamo to SportA -- as we usually do in such cases -- without red tape and ahead of time. Live broadcast coverage of the races on ZDF this weekend would have been possible and obviously in our interest. This offer remained unused.
We will not comment on further details from the ongoing contract negotiations.