BBC and ARD-ZDF representatives gave a glimpse into their large-scale broadcast plans for the first multisport European Championships at a special event to mark the one-year-to-go countdown.
The European Championships is a major new multisport event taking place every four years, supported by Europe’s free-to-air broadcasters, which aggregates the existing senior continental championships of Athletics (European Athletics), Aquatics (LEN), Cycling (UEC), Gymnastics (UEG), Rowing (FISA), Triathlon (ETU), with a new Golf Team Championships (ET & LET) – all unified under a common brand.
Speaking at the event on the side lines of the IAAF World Championships, European Broadcasting Union Director of Sport Stefan Kuerten confirmed that more than 1 billion people in Europe and across the globe will be able to enjoy all the action from the European Championships thanks to agreements with almost 40 different broadcasters. Sports fans will be able to enjoy up to 300 hours of programming across television, radio and online, free to air in all the main markets, with an anticipated 2,700 hours of television coverage.
Ron Chakraborty from BBC Sport said: “There is no doubt that we will be giving the 2018 European Championships the BBC ‘big event’ treatment, like we do for the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup and, as you have just witnessed, the IAAF World Championships.”
Achim Hammer of ZDF said: “Together with ARD, we will be broadcasting around 120 hours of sport live over the duration of the 2018 European Championships. We are going live throughout … live in the morning, live in the afternoon and live in the evening.”
Carsten Flügel of ARD said: “We want to thank the participating European Sports Federations for helping us create a very reliable and TV-friendly time schedule because that has been vital for us. We are very happy that these different sports have come together to make a united European Championships.”
The official opening title sequence for the inaugural European Championships was also unveiled at the media event organised by 2018 co-hosts Glasgow and Berlin. The European Sports Federations, Glasgow and Berlin, the EBU, BBC and ARD-ZDF worked together with British and German design agencies to create titles that represent the coming together of the seven sports and two host cities in a truly ground-breaking partnership.
The event also featured star athletes competing in London, including reigning Olympic, European, and now World Champion Katerina Stefanidi of Greece, newly crowned 400m Hurdles World Champion Karsten Warholm of Norway, new 110m hurdles World Bronze Medallist Balazs Baji of Hungary, and star German athlete Konstanze Klosterhalfen.
Stefanidi led the athletes in looking forward to the 2018 European Championships, saying, “Amsterdam last year was my first major senior title so the European Championships are very important to me and I intend to defend my title in Berlin. I find the idea of bringing all the sports together in Europe exciting and am looking forward to being a part of it. I hope Greece will be able to win medals in many of the other sports and I have time to watch what is happening in Glasgow.”