The European Broadcasting Union, an alliance of more than a hundred public service media organizations, on Monday launched Eurovision Sports, its first direct-to-consumer streaming service hosting free coverage of live sporting events that anyone can access.
Eurovision Sport will work with the EBU’s network of public service members to provide audiences with complete coverage of Olympic sports events, including gymnastics, skiing, and swimming. The platform will host featured events such as European and worldwide championships, multi-sports events, and national championships.
The platform is also the first sports streaming service to prioritize gender equality across all its live sports content.
“Diversity and inclusion are also at the heart of this platform,” said Glen Killane, executive director for sport at the EBU. “Women’s sports will be a key part of our ongoing strategy.”
A few sports dominate European television, such as soccer, which can make it difficult for smaller leagues and other events to gain traction and establish a fanbase. Eurovision Sport will combine all events into one streaming app and reduce the number of subscriptions a sports fan needs to watch multiple events. The EBU is also in discussions to add FIFA+ content to the streamer.
The first wave of competitions will show every minute of the World Aquatics Championships in Doha from February 2 through February 18 and the International Biathlon World Championships in Czechia from February 7 through February 18. Next month, fans can catch the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow from March 1 through March 3.
The EBU partnered with Nagravision, the digital TV division of the Kudelski Group, to create and operate the Eurovision Sport platform using market research to incorporate the needs and wants of fans, EBU members, sports federations, and sponsors.
“We firmly believe that sports should be for all,” said Noel Curran, director general at the EBU. “Currently, only a third of sports fans have access to premium sports channels,” said Noel Curran, director general at the EBU. “This new digital platform will provide wrap-around coverage, so they never have to miss a moment of their favorite event.”
The EBU manages the media rights for 14 sports and hosts more than 43,000 hours of sports coverage a year through agreements with 28 international sports federations.
“In this fragmented digital world, it is difficult and expensive for sports fans to find and access the sport they love and for sports federations to attract new audiences,” said Killane. “The EBU will ensure that every second of our events are available to all for free in every country in Europe and around the world.”
Eurovision Sport is available now online and can be downloaded on Android and iOS mobile devices. Later this year, the app will launch on connected TVs and select free ad-supported streaming channels.
Image credit: Eurovision Sport