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EBU and IBU extend long-running biathlon media rights partnership until 2030

08 July 2024
Image of a biathlon athlete

The EBU and the International Biathlon Union (IBU) are delighted to announce an extension to their successful exclusive media rights partnership for four more seasons until 2030.

Since the partnership began over 25 years ago, the EBU and its Members, together with the IBU, have transformed the IBU World Cup series and IBU World Championships into record-breaking events of the winter sports season. The enormous exposure provided to biathlon by free-to-air and the unparalleled treatment by biathlon rights holders’ editorial teams has established biathlon as the number one winter sport across the main European markets.  

Under the new agreement, the EBU and its biathlon rights-holders will have access to all IBU World Cup events, along with the IBU World Championships, and various other IBU events, including the Youth/Junior World Championships, the Open European Championships, the IBU Summer World Championships, and the IBU Cup.

The EBU and its rights holders will provide extensive coverage on TV, digital and radio. The IBU and the EBU will specifically cooperate in the field of digital media, extending biathlon coverage to the new Eurovision Sport digital platform worldwide. Together the EBU and the IBU have innovated and developed a state-of-the-art digital content-sharing platform where all the biathlon stakeholders have access to all IBU event footage. The EBU will also offer first-class host broadcasting and production services, contract management, project coordination, and implementation services. 

Glen Killane, Executive Director, EBU Sport, said: "The IBU and the EBU have been working together to grow this fantastic sport for over 25 years. The huge reach and innovative production standards of EBU Members has been central to the stellar success of biathlon. This new agreement confirms the strong commitment of EBU Members to the continued growth of the sport into the next decade, we are so grateful to the IBU for their trust and their fantastic approach to our partnership and we thank our Members for their unwavering support."

Olle Dahlin, IBU President, said: “We are delighted to extend our long-term partnership with EBU Sport which will guarantee the very highest quality broadcast coverage to our fans through to 2030. Our long and fruitful partnership with EBU Sport is a testament to the significant and ever-growing interest in biathlon not just in Europe but around the world. By extending for another four years, we will be able to reinvest in the development of our sport and ensure we continue to extend our reach to new audiences as we move into the next phase of our strategy, ‘Target 2030’”.

The EBU and IBU: More than 20 years of biathlon coverage

The number of hours of IBU biathlon competition viewed in the 2023-24 season increased by 86% to 561 million viewed hours, compared with the 2003-04 season. 

Over the same period, the number of EBU Members that have become regular broadcasters has grown exponentially, from the 10 involved in 2003 to an incredible 25 Members and Associate Members for the 2022-26 seasons. 

EBU Members that have become regular broadcasters of biathlon include: TVP (Poland); SRG SSR (Switzerland); TV2 (Norway); STVR (Slovakia); ERR (Estonia); LT (Latvia); and LRT (Lithuania); ORF (Austria); CT (Czechia); TV2 (Denmark); YLE (Finland); ARD/ZDF (Germany); NRK (Norway); RTVS (Slovenia); SVT (Sweden); Suspilne (Ukraine); RUV (Iceland); HRT (Croatia); RAI (Italy); BNT (Bulgaria); TRT (Türkiye); RTVS (North Macedonia); CBC (Canada); and CCTV (China).

The EBU also distributes biathlon coverage to two partners: L’Equipe (France) and Warner Bros. Discovery (Pan Europe).

Robert Portman, Head of Winter Sport, EBU Sport, commented on the unique value of the IBU-EBU partnership for the federation, the broadcasters and audiences: 

“The partnership between the IBU and EBU is a truly beneficial one that provides the sport of biathlon with excellent exposure to the IBU events and athletes, at the same time benefitting the main winter broadcasters with the most exciting and engaging content available in winter. To continue this partnership makes all the sense in the world and we very much look forward to bringing biathlon to the people in the years to come.”

Jiri Hamza, Vice President, IBU, said: “Today we have the pleasure of confirming the continuation of our successful partnership with the EBU and their broadcasters. We are grateful for the constructive approach during these politically and economically challenging times. The exposure on public free-to-air channels has fostered continued year-over-year audience growth, further bolstering biathlon's position as Europe’s most popular winter sport. Through our renewed partnership with EBU Sport, fans will continue to enjoy top quality productions and free-to-air access to thrilling biathlon competitions through 2030.”

The recent 2024 BMW IBU World Championships in Nové Město na Moravě, Czechia, was an overwhelming success and has shown that biathlon was the highlight of the Winter season 2023/24 for the involved EBU Members and partners:

•    In the host country Czechia, viewing of CT’s coverage of all 12 World Championship races significantly increased compared with the previous edition, with the women’s sprint showing the highest increase of 62%
•    In Germany, ZDF scored its highest average audience of the Championships (4.6 million and 4.4 million) for its coverage of the men’s and women’s mass starts on Sunday 18 February 2024
•    In Norway, coverage of both the women’s and men’s mass start races achieved the highest viewing share of the Championships (81% and 83%)
•    In Sweden, coverage of the women’s mass start race achieved a viewing share of 78%, the highest of the Championships, while the women’s and men’s mass start races achieved the highest live average audiences of the day
•    In France, L’Equipe attracted an average live audience of 1.8 million viewers for its coverage of the women’s mass start, its highest average live audience since L’Equipe began broadcasting biathlon events

Overall biathlon has been a huge success for EBU Members, to the ultimate benefit of audiences across the board. Since the beginning of our partnership with IBU, we have seen huge market share in, for example, Scandinavia, reaching 89% in Norway and 84% in Sweden (both during the 2023 World Championships in Oberhof, Germany). 

Relevant links and documents


Jo Waters

Head of Content Communications