North American deal struck for coverage of horse sport

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© FEI

A new media deal will see top-level jumping in North America reach millions of fans across the continent.

It follows on the heels of an agreement reached only last month which will see a major boost to televised equestrian sport in Switzerland.

The latest deal will see action from the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American League covered in a multi-year partnership between the FEI and the US-based digital publishing platform, the Horse Network.

The new cooperation starts from the 2017/18 season with coverage from the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park in Canada, where the first qualifier of the League takes place on August 6.

The deal will enable equestrian and sport enthusiasts to follow each of the 14 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American League events.

Horse Network intends to offer a combination of sporting action, videos, articles and multimedia content around the series.

All content published by Horse Network will be available free and will include live-streamed action from the competitions.

FEI commercial director Ralph Straus said he was pleased with the deal, saying the Horse Network’s innovative approach provided great value for equestrian fans, organizers and sponsors.

It was, he said, important for the growth of the sport in North America.

Horse Network chief executive Sean Hurley said today’s fans wanted quality, immediacy, humor and news, in particular across digital platforms.

The deal in Switzerland, announced mid-July, was a long-term partnership that would see equestrian sport from both the Olympic and non-Olympic disciplines brought to the audiences of UPC’s new sports broadcast venture, MySports.

The new channel is scheduled this September.

© FEI

Coverage will include live transmissions of the most prestigious FEI events around the world, starting with the 2017/18 seasons of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping and FEI World Cup Dressage.

It will also span across an impressive number of other FEI series and Championships, including the FEI Nations Cup Jumping, FEI World Cup Driving and FEI World Cup Vaulting.

The content offered to Swiss audiences will include some FEI magazine programming, including the FEI’s monthly flagship magazine, FEI Equestrian World.

The new partnership was brokered in cooperation with FEI’s broadcast rights distribution partner IMG. It runs through to 2022 and will see a combination of free-to-air and paid-for coverage, plus highlights from global events, significantly increasing the broadcast footprint for equestrian sport in Switzerland.

More than three million households will have access to the new channel.

Straus confirmed that a “very healthy portion” of the equestrian content would be free-to-air.

MySports programming director Steffi Buchli said equestrian events were popular in Switzerland, particularly as Swiss athletes often took part at the top level.

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