31 Jul 2017

Stefan Kürten: EBU focused on ensuring widest possible audience on free-to-air for 2018 European Championships

"More than 1 billion people in Europe and across the globe are set to enjoy all the action from next year’s inaugural European Championships thanks to a unique partnership with International Broadcasters."

Image credit: European Broadcast Union
Image credit: European Broadcast Union

"This brand-new format is bringing the continent’s greatest Olympic sports together. 4,500 elite athletes will be competing in seven sports with Berlin hosting athletics while aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, golf, rowing and triathlon events are being held in Glasgow.

"The EBU is the world’s foremost alliance of public service media organizations with more than 70 Members in 56 countries. Our Members operate nearly 2,000 television and radio channels together with numerous online platforms, broadcasting in more than 120 languages.

"As the broadcast partner of the 2018 European Championships, we have been involved at every step of the way in ensuring the widest possible audience will be able to join us on the road to Glasgow and Berlin.

"Here at EBU Sport, our job is to negotiate on behalf of Europe’s public service broadcasters to guarantee fans the best seats in the house, free of charge in the major markets, for the world’s leading sporting events. We hold exclusive media rights for the 2018 European Championships in Europe and, so far, have signed agreements with almost 40 broadcasters including the BBC in the UK, ARD/ZDF in Germany, France Télévisions, RAI in Italy and TVE in Spain. That means viewers worldwide will be able to enjoy up to 300 hours of programming from the Championships across television, radio and online platforms.

"Our business arm – Eurovision Media Services (EMS) – will be acting as host broadcaster, through its subsidiary European Production Coordination (EPC), to produce all the event coverage and supply a range of other services, such as remote production, to broadcasters at the venues and main media centres.

"EMS will also be responsible for distributing the live event and data feed to rights-holding media organisations worldwide over the Eurovision Global Network, complemented by our recent development - Eurovision FLEX – which uses a hybrid of internet and private networks. And we will be creating an online platform to provide media organizations with additional tools to acquire, manage and enhance footage, so that they can reach audiences everywhere on every device.

"The 2018 European Championships provides us with a unique opportunity to bring all the key summer sports and fans together for one must-see event. By doing so we hope to be able to increase the reach and impact of the individual events and win new audiences.

"The response from our Members and broadcast partners has been phenomenal to date and we are delighted to see how they have bought into the ethos of the Championships. We have now finalised the sports programme with the Championships Board and agreed a schedule that will run from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 12th August.

"We will be continuing to work closely with broadcasters to shape the content for the event, providing support right along the value chain to help deliver ‘The Moment’ to the widest possible audience".

Stefan Kürten, European Broadcasting Union Director of Sport