Advanced Television

Extended Le Mans deal for Eurosport

October 14, 2016

By Colin Mann

The historic 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s leading sportscar race, and the FIA World Endurance Championship will continue to be shown live on Eurosport following a new four-year agreement.

Eurosport has agreed extended rights to show the 24 Hours of Le Mans exclusively in Europe, outside of free-to-air general entertainment channels. It will also present the race across Asia-Pacific and additional races on the FIA WEC calendar across both regions on a non-exclusive basis.

Eurosport has been a long standing rights holder of 24 Hours of Le Mans, operated by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest which is also promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship, and fuels the passion of motorsport fans through unrivalled live coverage, behind-the-scenes footage and track-side interviews.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans and the remaining eight rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship calendar each year will continue to be available across multiple Eurosport’s platforms, including Eurosport channels and Eurosport Player, the leading live and on-demand digital sport platform.  As well as live race coverage, Eurosport Player is set to continue to carry a range of additional compelling content, such as on-board camera feeds.

The partnership was brokered by the leading international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the exclusive media rights partner of The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

“Motorsport fans are some of the most committed you can find, so we are delighted to extend our agreement to show the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and the world’s best endurance races to continue to fuel their passion for the sport,” commented Peter Hutton, Chief Executive of Eurosport.  “We look forward to more of this unique series over the next four years, available to fans at home and on-the-go across Eurosport’s platforms.”

“We’re very happy about the renewal of our partnership with Eurosport for Le Mans 24 Hours for the next four years,” declared Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. “We’re delighted that this agreement also guarantees continued coverage of the FIA World Endurance Championship. We’re very focused on developing TV coverage of the Le Mans 24 Hours and the FIA WEC, and we gave an undertaking to our partners to achieve this. This new agreement confirms our determination. It will strengthen our positioning and result in the enhanced broadcasting of our world championship events and the flagship race, the Le Mans 24 Hours, across Europe and Asia-Pacific.”

Gérard Neveu, CEO of the FIA WEC said the continued coverage of the World Endurance Championship was “very good news indeed” for all motorsport fans, and especially those of endurance racing.  “The channel’s extensive reach covers many international borders and, by showing live the excitement and non-stop action of our WEC races around the globe, it entertains millions and puts a spotlight on us which will also bring new fans through our doors, both physically and virtually,” he added.

Stephan Herth, Executive Director Summer Sport at Infront said: “Eurosport is synonymous with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and has in recent years helped to expand the profile of the FIA World Endurance Championship. As such we are happy to have helped extend this partnership for another 4 years. This new agreement demonstrates the popularity and appeal of the growing world of motor sports as one of the most progressive segments of the sports industry and the audience demand for more action. The agreement bolsters our vision to raise the profile and exposure for these endurance events in both established motor sports territories and emerging regions.”

The new four-year agreement begins next year and runs until 2020.  Eurosport provided fans with comprehensive coverage of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including over 29 hours live.

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