All of Europe’s major free to air broadcasters will televise the inaugural European Championships in 2018, it was announced today.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which holds the broadcast rights on all platforms, has confirmed coverage across the top five markets, BBC in the United Kingdom, ARD/ZDF in Germany, France Televisions in France, RAI in Italy and TVE in Spain.
These countries represent a major part of the potential television audience of 1.03 billion for the event which will bring together the existing championships of some of the continent’s biggest sports for the first time and be co-hosted by Glasgow and Berlin.
Agreements to broadcast the new multi-sport event on free-to-air have also been concluded across Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Belgium and others.
The existing European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon will be brought together for the first time, and a new Golf Team Championships will also be introduced onto the European stage.
Around 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin through 7-12 August as part of the European Athletics Championships, while approximately 3025 athletes will visit Scotland for the other six events between 1 – 12 August.
This new sporting partnership will create a compelling broadcast event on the world stage every four years.
Stefan Kürten, Director of Eurovision Services & Sports Rights at the EBU, said: “The EBU and its members are proud to be part of this milestone event for European sports on free-to-air; this event will feature the best of Olympic summer sports in Europe – all competitions for the widest public.”
European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen, co-chair of the 2018 European Championships Board said: “It is fantastic that at this early stage there is already such a huge interest and commitment from the free-to-air major broadcasters for the European Championships. We are pleased that our long-standing and valued partnership with EBU continues to pay dividends in increasing the popularity of athletics. With the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships being part of the European Championships, we will have the perfect platform to promote our sport across the continent and worldwide to what we hope is an unprecedented television audience.”
Fellow co-chair Paolo Barelli, President of the Ligue Européenne de Natation (European Aquatics), said: "We have brought our individual European championships together in this way to help grow broadcast and commercial opportunities and to continue to encourage participation in our great sports. I am therefore delighted that the major markets across the continent are helping ensure our partnership will be a tremendous success as we create a compelling, must-see event.”
Colin Hartley, Championships Director of Glasgow 2018, said: “Working with the EBU to stage this exciting new concept for some of the leading sports in Europe is one of the major reasons Glasgow was attracted to becoming one of the Host Cities and we are delighted that the major broadcasters, including of course the BBC, have shown such confidence in Scotland’s ability to work in partnership to stage what will be a compelling and entertaining product for audiences across Europe and beyond.”
Frank Kowalski, Berlin 2018 Managing Director, said: “We are convinced that the path our summer sports have chosen to position themselves even more effectively against the power of football is the right one. We will work to create the best synergies between the sports and the two host cities. The new format will be very entertaining.”