Live Eurosport TV boost for Modern Pentathlon
Modern Pentathlon will be beamed out live on TV across Europe this summer after the UIPM signed a contract with continental network Eurosport.
The agreement will include the 2017 World Cup Final in Vilnius (LTU) in June and the Senior World Championships in Cairo (EGY) in August, where the finals will be broadcast live to a vast audience of sports fans across Europe and beyond.
Eurosport is the ‘new home of the Olympics’ and the agreement with the UIPM means more than half of the sports to feature at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games will be broadcast on Eurosport over the next 12 months.
In addition to the broadcast rights, Eurosport will work closely with the UIPM to promote its sports and help activate the governing body’s commercial partnerships through a dedicated promotional platform, comprising both TV and digital activations.
Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton said: “Modern pentathlon is widely regarded as one of the most challenging and traditional sports in the Summer Olympic program and we are delighted to be able to bring this year’s biggest events to our viewers.
“Eurosport already dedicates over half of its schedule to Olympic sports and this agreement further strengthens our portfolio as we start our journey towards the next Summer Games in Tokyo.
“The Modern Pentathlon in Rio last summer provided some of the most iconic moments of the Olympic Games with records tumbling in both the men’s and women’s events. The sport has a rich Olympic history and, as the new Home of the Olympics in Europe, we look forward to following these remarkable athletes and sharing their stories on our screens throughout 2017.”
Dr Klaus Schormann, President of UIPM, said: "UIPM's development programmes have enabled our sporting movement to grow right across the world and we have seen the results with the Rio 2016 Olympic medallists in Modern Pentathlon coming from three different continents.
"However, the traditional heartland of Modern Pentathlon is the continent of Europe and today is a day for celebration for the many fans of our sport who will be able to watch our most important competitions on television through Eurosport.
"This is another major step forward for our core Olympic sport, which has benefited in recent years from great advances in media coverage and marketing.
"I can say now that the Modern Pentathlon, which was conceived by Pierre de Coubertin especially for the Olympic Games, is very attractive as a perennial sporting event for our fans, our broadcast partners such as Eurosport and our sponsors."
Shiny Fang, UIPM Secretary General, said: “Modern Pentathlon has a prestigious history and UIPM has allowed innovation to flourish while protecting the roots and culture of the sport.
“We always remain alert to the latest tendencies and trends among our young fans, and we need strong platforms for our flagship sport that will help us promote the philosophy and beauty of Modern Pentathlon and our athletes.
“Eurosport is exactly the match we have been looking for and we are excited to be part of their portfolio. We hope to increase awareness of the UIPM and our six multi-discipline sports, especially the Modern Pentathlon which is a cornerstone of the Olympic movement.”
UIPM recently announced the appointment of UK-based Pro-Active Broadcast to manage and distribute the broadcast and web-stream output from World Cup and World Championship events during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Pro-Active will be responsible for the creation and distribution of highlights programmes from all rounds of the UIPM World Cup including the World Cup Final, as well as the Senior World Championships.
They will also develop and co-ordinate a Live World feed from the latter two competitions, the flagship events on the UIPM calendar, working closely with the host broadcaster hired by the Local Organising Committee of each competition to optimize coverage.
Tommasina Kay, Senior Project Director, Pro-Active Broadcast, said: "This is an exciting project where we aim to raise and change the profile and interest levels in the core Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon over the next two years.
“UIPM has taken great steps in the last few years and there is great potential to develop the sport as a broadcasting spectacle. Our tightly co-ordinated, multi-skilled and very experienced team will be an ideal partner for UIPM in the next stage of its development."
Already Eurosport are committed to taking all available output from the UIPM and Pro-Active are now looking to build the take-up worldwide as well as increase the impact of the web streaming and social media output from each event.
Shiny Fang, UIPM Secretary General, said: "UIPM presented Modern Pentathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in a fresh and innovative way that attracted mass media attention on a different scale to previous Games. That said, we still see room for improvement in the presentation of our sports, especially in the way we tell the story of a Modern Pentathlon competition to a TV audience.
"The complexity of Modern Pentathlon creates a challenge of presentation and UIPM is delighted to welcome Pro-Active Broadcast on board with a view to boosting our online and traditional TV audiences.
"We have been in connection with Pro-Active for a couple of years and collaborated with them on some small projects and videos, and in those initiatives we have seen their passion for our sport and their own professionalism shine through. We are excited to see how their innovative way of thinking will enlighten our own thoughts about the broadcasting strategy for Modern Pentathlon and how we improve the service we provide to both existing and new fans of the sport worldwide."
Pro-Active and UIPM will begin their two-year collaboration at the first round of the 2017 UIPM World Cup in Los Angeles (USA) on February 22.