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Eurosport adds US motorcycling rights, Danish Superliga returns on Discovery

Discovery-owned international sports broadcaster Eurosport has acquired rights in the UK and France to the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship ahead of the start of its 2020 season this weekend.

Eurosport will show all 10 rounds of the US series, starting with Saturday’s race from the Road America circuit in Wisconsin. Coverage will air this weekend on Eurosport 1 and on Eurosport Player, the OTT subscription service, in the UK and France.

From the second round of the season on June 26, the series will be available to watch on Eurosport in 54 countries and territories across Europe.

The MotoAmerica Superbike Championship season will begin behind closed doors and is scheduled to conclude in November in Austin, Texas. Coverage of Saturday’s event will begin at 9pm (CET) with the Supersport race.

Andrew Georgiou, president, Eurosport and global sports rights and sports marketing solutions, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to bring world-class live sport back to Eurosport, starting this weekend in the United Kingdom and France with the MotoAmerica Series. We have undisputed strength in motor sports, driven by both our Eurosport Events portfolio as well as Eurosport’s partnership with some of the biggest series in motorsport.”

MotoAmerica president Wayne Rainey added: “This is a big deal for our series to have Eurosport involved. They are experts in delivering fan engagement at scale and will really grow our fan base in Europe.”

Eurosport also holds rights to the British Superbike Championship and the FIM Superbike World Championship.

Meanwhile, the Discovery-owned OTT platform Dplay and pay-television channel Canal 9 are preparing for the return of their coverage of Danish football’s Superliga.

The Superliga resumes tonight after the Covid-19 shutdown as AGF face Randers in a behind-closed-doors match to be broadcast by both Dplay and Canal 9.

Søren Klæstrup, senior editorial director at Discovery Networks Denmark, said: “We have looked at how to give viewers an extraordinary experience in an extraordinary time. That is why we are also rolling out heavyweight coverage of the match, which we know football Denmark has been looking forward to.”

Klæstrup continued: “Our whole mission is to bring the fans closer to the players and teams when they can’t be there themselves. That is why we have many exciting things in the cast that you can look forward to as a viewer.”

The league’s existing six-year rights contracts with Discovery and the Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group expire at the end of the 2020-21 season before new three-year deals with the duo take effect. Discovery holds the rights to the second- and fifth-pick match from each match week.

As the league resumes, viewers will be educated about the measures being taken on and off the field to adhere to the Danish authorities’ guidelines. There will also be an option to choose between the real audio from the stadium or amplified crowd sounds.

Klæstrup added: “The debate about artificial sound is interesting and it is a dilemma that we take very seriously. We have therefore worked hard to offer the solution where people can choose what sound they want from the stadium. On Dplay you can choose for yourself, while the sound on the TV signal on Canal 9 will be the authentic from the stadium.

“We keep an eye on the possibilities and will constantly try to optimize the experience from match to match. Now we continue to work with artificial sound, which is an offer to those who miss the sum that normal football games always have. When the spectators return to the stadiums, however, it is not something we plan to continue.”