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Eurovision Sport acquires International Gymnastics Federation rights

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 09: Dina Averina of Russia performs final (ribbon) during the International Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Eurovision Sport, the sports arm of the European Broadcasting Union consortium of free-to-air broadcasters, has agreed a four-year deal with the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) for rights across Europe and North Africa.

The deal runs for the four years between 2021 and 2024 and  gives the broadccaster exclusive rights to the FIG World Championships in artistic, rhythmic and trampoline gymnastics.

Non-Olympic gymnastics disciplines and events are also included within the deal on a non-exclusive basis.

As part of the deal, FIG and Eurovision Sport will work to develop an OTT platform for the sport as part of a wider “digital strategy” for gymnastics.

Eurovision Services, an EBU subsidiary, will continue to distribute the events’ feed across satellite, cable and IPTV.

All artistic, rhythmic and trampoline gymnastics World Championships in the 2021-24 cycle will take place in Europe.

Telco Altice currently holds exclusive rights to the FIG events across France, Belgium and Luxembourg until 2025.

Both the EBU and FIG have emphasised the benefits they see to hosting gymnastics events on free-to-air television.

FIG president Morinari Watanabe said: “[Free-to-air] will allow greater exposure for our Gymnastics disciplines as well as providing higher visibility for our partners. We are sure that this agreement will be instrumental in growing our audience in many European territories with a strong Gymnastics tradition.”

The deal follows one Eurovision Sport struck earlier this year with the European Gymnastics Federation for the global rights to men’s and women’s European Championship rhythmic and artistic gymnastics events for the 2021-24 cycle.

That deal was overseen by incoming EBU executive director Glen Killane who was promoted from his role as deputy director following the departure of long-standing incumbent Stefan Kürten.