Eurovision Sport Director Stefan Kürten discusses the EBU's new brand and why we are the natural partner for sports federations as well as Members.
For me, the essence of sport is a constant which transcends any individual or team. It’s a place where we learn to rely on others and have others rely on us. It shows the value of determination and it creates deep bonds that last.
Conversely, the sports-media landscape is changing rapidly. To get ahead of these changes, we needed to transform the whole organization and ourselves and be more agile and flexible to adapt to that evolving market. That’s why I see the launch of Eurovision Sport as so much more than a rebranding exercise.
My team has always brought experience, expertise and a global perspective to our offering. But we are also an organization that marries that with passion and dedication. Why? Because we are committed to sport and to all the wider benefits it brings to individuals, communities and society.
The collective strength of our Members allows us to negotiate global sport content for the benefit of all stakeholders. We can do this because we are driven by the aspirations and ambitions of our Members, not purely commercial goals.
We believe sport is for everyone and not just for the privileged few. That’s why we endeavor to keep the best sporting events free to all - everywhere, on every platform.
We currently have over 30 different federation contracts, amounting to over 700 event days every single year. We work with 18 different Olympic summer and winter sports from football to cycling, athletics and skiing. In cycling, we bring the absolute top events to millions and millions of viewers, be it Tour de France, the UCI Road World Championships or the best one-day races. If you want to watch athletics, you'll see all the top performances from the European and World Championships on the screens of our Members, reaching the widest audience possible. We are where the people are.
Together with our colleagues in Eurovision Services, we can offer federations a 360° service from rights management through to production, distribution and digital solutions. It’s a unique offer that helps nurture and grow sports.
Our long-standing collaboration with the International Biathlon Union (IBU) is just one example of how working with public service broadcasters has helped develop a sport.
Over 25 years, the partnership has seen audiences grow and the sport move from a niche, to be a central part of winter sports for millions. This has been achieved by working closely together to innovate new formats that are more broadcast-friendly and actively taking the sport to non-traditional markets for biathlon.
Currently, IBU Biathlon World Cups, IBU World Championships and various other IBU events are all benefitting from free-to-air coverage to a worldwide audience.
Another example of how we can help bring fresh ideas to the market is the European Championships.
We worked hard with Members, partners and the sporting federations, from the inception of the combined European Championships, to bring a truly innovative experience to audiences across Europe and the world.
Seeing the massive upside, broadcasters went ‘all in’ and offered audiences around 10 hours of daily coverage, with all the elements for the full major event experience, resulting in exceptional exposure and presentation for the sports, with viewers in the ten key European markets tuning in for a total of over 567 million hours.
I firmly believe that Eurovision Sport is the future. We achieve success for all stakeholders through collaboration allied to expertise, combined with skill and with passion. Only Eurovision Sport ensures that federations get the visibility/revenue they need while Members and partners get sports that build ratings at the best prices.
The result for the public is more and better sports delivered free-to-all. It’s a win-win scenario for sport and all sport stakeholders.
Yes, we know the real value of sport. It’s what drives us to push the boundaries, to find new solutions, to do whatever it takes to make sport part of everyone’s life.
I know these are bold claims and we have even bolder goals, but we have every intention to live up to them. It’s who we are, it’s what we do. We are Eurovision Sport. We connect people to sport and sport to the people.