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17 April 2002, 10:53 am
Television Deals All Over Europe
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GBR Challenge photo:Jon Nash

Americas Cup

TV deals for the next Louis Vuitton Cup and America`s Cup are currently being signed by a whole range of different countries.

First it was the United States with Outdoor Life network (OLN) who announced that they would be airing more than 400 hours of live TV from the begining of the Louis Vuitton Cup. Then ESPN announced that they would be airing the America's Cup Match in full. Now it is Europe's turn to come to the party.

A bidding war has been going on in Italy for the past few months for the exclusive terrestrial TV rights for the only European country with two challengers.

With the Prada Challenge's success at the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2000 and the huge popular support in Italy, RAI, the Italian broadcaster, did very well in viewership terms in spite of the time zone difference. Many were the bleary-eyed workers who showed up to work in Italy having spent most of the small hours watching the silver and red ACC boat ITA-48 battling on the Hauraki Race Course.

MediaSet, the other big broadcaster in Italy, and RAI, are in a bidding war for the rights for the next Cup. Italy will be well served.

A deal has recently been finalised for Switzerland, the country that overlaps languages and many terrestrial broadcasters' footprints

At the naming ceremony of the GBR Challenge boat last Friday it was announced that the BBC had secured the rights for the United Kingdom.

Victory Challenge's main sponsor TV3 has acquired exclusive broadcasting rights for the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup in ten countries. Among these countries are Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

This means that the broadcasts will cover all the countries from which the crewmembers of the Swedish America's Cup challenge are taken.

"Our crew is wholly Nordic, with Olympic sailors from all four countries. When their efforts can now be seen at home, we are hoping to gain the support we need", says Mats Johansson, project manager and skipper for Victory Challenge.

The rights have been acquired by the Modern Times Group MTG AB, which includes TV3 within the Viasat Broadcasting business area. The acquisition includes the Louis Vuitton Cup as well as the America's Cup final for Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Russia and Luxembourg.

The live broadcasts and highlights can be seen on TV3, which includes TV3 Sweden, TV3 Denmark, TV3 Norway, Viasat3 in Hungary, TV3 in Estonia, TV3 in Latvia, TV3 in Lithuania and Darial TV in Russia.

Viasat Sport Sweden and Viasat Sport Denmark will also air the events.

"We have been in negotiations with Viasat regarding the broadcasting rights for the LVC and America's Cup for a while and we are very happy to have reached an agreement," says Kristian Hysén, International Vice President of TWI, the McCormack Group's broadcasting company that represent the owners of the broadcasting rights.

Closer to the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup viewers will be able to check on the Louis Vuitton Cup website for the exact details of TV shows in their countries.
LV Cup Press/News Editor
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