In a new Infront-brokered agreement, live multi-platform motor sports programming is guaranteed across Europe and the Asia-Pacific region until 2020
Zug, Switzerland – Eurosport has signed a long-term partnership to present live coverage of the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, agreed with Infront Sports & Media, the exclusive media rights partner of The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC). The long-term agreement will see Eurosport offer live race action throughout Europe and the Asia-Pacific region over the next four years up to and including 2020. The new agreement was announced ahead of the FIA WEC’s 6 Hours of Fuji event in Japan, which takes place this weekend.
Motorsports programming and content across multiple platforms
Eurosport has been a long-standing rights holder of 24 Hours of Le Mans, offering motorsport fans live coverage, behind-the-scenes footage and track-side interviews. Under the new agreement, Europe’s number one sports destination has agreed to offer live and full coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans exclusively in Europe, outside of free-to-air general entertainment channels. It will also present the race live across Asia-Pacific and additional races on the FIA WEC calendar across both regions on a non-exclusive basis.
Live race coverage will continue to be available across multiple platforms, including Eurosport channels and Eurosport Player - the live and on-demand digital platform which will also offer a range of additional content, such as on-board camera feeds.
Stephan Herth, Executive Director Summer Sport at Infront: “Eurosport is synonymous with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and has in recent years helped to expand the profile of the FIA World Endurance Championship. As such we are happy to have helped extend this partnership for another four years. This new agreement demonstrates the popularity and appeal of the growing world of motor sports as one of the most progressive segments of the sports industry and the audience demand for more action. The agreement bolsters our vision to raise the profile and exposure for these endurance events in both established motor sports territories and emerging regions.”
Peter Hutton, Chief Executive of Eurosport, said: “Motorsport fans are some of the most committed you can find, so we are delighted to extend our agreement to show the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and the world’s best endurance races to continue to fuel their passion for the sport. We look forward to more of this unique series over the next four years, available to fans at home and on-the-go across Eurosport’s platforms.”
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, said: “We’re very happy about the renewal of our partnership with Eurosport for 24 Hours of Le Mans for the next four years. We’re delighted that this agreement also guarantees continued coverage of the FIA World Endurance Championship. We’re very focused on developing TV coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC, and we gave an undertaking to our partners to achieve this. This new agreement confirms our determination. It will strengthen our positioning and result in the enhanced broadcasting of our world championship events and the flagship race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, across Europe and Asia-Pacific.”
Gérard Neveu, CEO of the FIA WEC, said: “The announcement regarding Eurosport’s continued coverage of the FIA World Endurance Championship is very good news indeed for all motorsport fans, and especially those of endurance racing. The channel’s extensive reach covers many international borders and, by showing live the excitement and non-stop action of our FIA WEC races around the globe, it entertains millions and puts a spotlight on us which will also bring new fans through our doors, both physically and virtually.”
About Infront Sports & Media
Infront Sports & Media is the most respected sports marketing company in the world, managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production, event operation and digital solutions – and has won a reputation for its high standards of delivery. As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football, summer and endurance sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 170 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 900 experienced staff working from over 35 offices across more than 15 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In November 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Holding, part of the Chinese conglomerate the Dalian Wanda Group.
Eurosport, the number one sport destination in Europe, connects fans and athletes around the greatest sports events. Its channels, Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2 and Eurosportnews, reach 236 million cumulative subscribers across 93 countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Eurosport.com is Europe’s No.1 online sports news website with an average of 14m unique users per month. Eurosport Player is an all-access pass to the greatest events on the calendar, available anytime and on any device in 52 countries. Eurosport Events specialises in the management and promotion of international sporting events. More information is available by visiting www.eurosport.com.
About The Automobile Club de l’Ouest
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) founded in 1906 is the creator and organiser of major motor sporting events including the first grand prix in the history of motor racing in 1906 followed by the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1923. The ACO’s aim is to develop long-distance racing and since 2012 it has been the organiser and promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC). The club is also the creator of the continental series: the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, former American Le Mans Series (1999), the European Le Mans Series (2004), and the Asian Le Mans Series (2013). On its own circuits at Le Mans, the ACO organises the 24 Heures Motos, the 24 Heures Karting, the 24 Heures Camions and the French Motorcycle Grand Prix.
But above all the ACO is a club made up of enthusiasts who defend the rights of car users on a daily basis, and it gives its members a privileged welcome to enable them to live their passion for motor sport at the events it organises.
The ACO also has a driving school, Le Mans Driver, a leisure and kart competition complex and simulators, an Enterprise department for the organisation of seminars, a team of guides providing tours of the installations of the Le Mans circuits, two official boutiques in Le Mans and Paris as well as eight regional agencies.
About the FIA World Endurance Championship
The WEC is the most successful and fastest growing sportscar championship in the world, offering motor manufacturers a real-world relevance to advances in road car design and crossover technology, performance and safety. Strong, stable regulations allow for complex yet beautiful sports prototypes featuring the latest in hybrid technology, independent chassis and engines suppliers competing at the highest levels, and the world’s leading luxury car marques going head-to-head in the GT categories. Over 30 cars are on track at the same time, leading to action, excitement, endless passing and entertainment for fans worldwide.
The WEC offers teams, drivers, partners and stakeholders a unique stage on which to compete, at premier race circuits around the world. Ranked alongside the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the soccer World Cup, the cornerstone of the WEC remains one of the world’s greatest sporting events, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June each year, and in 2016 the championship will also visit Mexico City for the first time as part of the 9-round calendar. All races, except the 24 Hours of Le Mans, are 6-hours in duration and three rounds race into the night. More information can be found on www.fiawec.com