Icenetwork.com acquires ISU rights through 2018
U.S. Figure Skating extends NBC television rights through 2017-18
|Icenetwork.com will provide live coverage of ISU events through the 2017-18 season. (International Skating Union)|
"We are thrilled with these two agreements," U.S. Figure Skating Executive Director David Raith said. "The extension with NBC guarantees a minimum of 11 broadcast hours of coverage annually, including two hours in primetime, from Skate America and the U.S. Figure Skating Championships through the conclusion of the 2018 U.S. Championships. We value our strong relationship with NBC and are excited to continue bringing premium programming to our fans."
The ISU agreement with icenetwork.com, a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Figure Skating, operated and managed by MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), covers multiple distribution platforms and guarantees live coverage of ISU events, including the World Figure Skating Championships, the Four Continents Championships and the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, on icenetwork.com, as well as television coverage on NBC, NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports.
"The ISU rights agreement delivers on the promise icenetwork.com made to the skating community from day one," MLBAM Executive Vice President of Content Dinn Mann said. "These athletes and their fans expressed excitement about a shared vision for the world's premier online skating destination. This agreement ensures that all major international figure skating events will be streamed live for U.S. fans to enjoy. Icenetwork.com continues to grow, and its mission, as always, is to provide exclusive viewing opportunities from premier figure skating -- and now speed skating -- competitions, while delivering the latest news and information about skating year-round."
U.S. Figure Skating's current deal with NBC, which would have expired following the 2014 U.S. Championships, began before the 2007-08 season.
"As the Olympic network in the U.S. through 2020, the continuation of our broadcast partnership with NBC is a natural one," Raith said.
"As America's Olympic Network, we are proud to partner with U.S. Figure Skating and extend our association with these marquee events through the 2017-18 season," NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network President of Programming Jon Miller said. "Figure skating is the single most popular event in the Winter Olympics, and these events, including the U.S. and world championships, will be building blocks of our coverage as we lead into the Sochi Winter Games."
Approximately 20 hours of icenetwork.com's ISU figure skating rights will be shown on NBC annually, including the world championships in primetime during non-Olympic years, and the ISU Grand Prix Series. ISU events will also be seen on cable television, with NBC Sports Network showing select coverage of ISU speed skating events, including the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships and the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships. Universal Sports will continue to expand its coverage of all ISU events, with more than 50 hours of programming dedicated to figure skating and speed skating annually, including the World Figure Skating Championships, European Figure Skating Championships, Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Grand Prix Series and select speed skating competitions.
"We are pleased to continue our partnership with U.S. Figure Skating and build upon the success of our previous coverage of ISU competitions," said David Sternberg, CEO of Universal Sports. "Figure skating is an integral part of our lineup, and this agreement reinforces our commitment to delivering the world-class event programming skating fans crave."
Icenetwork.com's acquisition of ISU event rights was made possible through the cooperative efforts of U.S. Figure Skating, MLBAM, NBC, NBC Sports Network, Universal Sports and Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment, U.S. Figure Skating's sponsorship sales agency partner since 2008.
Programming details for 2013-14 ISU events will be announced this summer.