NBC acquires US broadcast rights for 35th America’s Cup

Published on February 9th, 2015

(February 9, 2015) – The America’s Cup has selected NBC Sports Group as its partner for the upcoming edition of the America’s Cup – including the America’s Cup World Series events (2015-16), and the America’s Cup Qualifiers, Playoffs and America’s Cup Finals (2017).

“We are delighted to announce this agreement with NBC Sports Group,” said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner of the America’s Cup. “This is a great deal for the America’s Cup, our teams and our partners. NBC Sports Group’s continued interest reflects the growing popularity, as well as potential additional growth, of the America’s Cup as a major television sport.”

NBC and NBCSN were the US television home for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013, in which the television coverage was widely acclaimed and saw the development of the Emmy Award-winning on screen graphics package, AC LiveLine, which enhanced the viewing experience by making the sport more engaging and more easily understood, especially for new fans.

The network did not pay a rights fee in the last deal, and while terms of this latest deal were not released, Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC and NBC Sports Group, said it was a “different deal than we did last time.”

“This is more of a joint venture,” Miller said.

He added that the America’s Cup Event Authority, which is organizing the event, “has a good bank of sponsors that they’re bringing as well,” something Miller said made acquiring the rights “very desirable.”

The deal calls for the network to broadcast more than 35 hours of coverage, which includes a one-hour highlight show from each of the estimated four 2015 America’s Cup World Series events.

Highlights of the agreement between NBC Sports Group and the America’s Cup include:
* Live coverage on NBC on both weekends of the America’s Cup Finals 2017
* Extensive live coverage of the America’s Cup Playoffs (and additional America’s Cup Finals racing) on NBC and NBCSN
* Coverage of all America’s Cup World Series events in 2015 and 2016 on NBCSN
* Live-streaming of all NBC and NBCSN telecasts on NBC Sports Live Extra

“It’s encouraging to have a partner like NBC who is highly motivated to return and help build and promote the event and increase the profile of our athletes and our teams. I have no doubt that over the next three years we will touch more viewers, in more ways, through the reach of NBC Sports Group’s platforms.” Schiller concluded.

Competition in the next America’s Cup begins in June 2015, with the first event of the America’s Cup World Series, in Cagliari, Italy, with racing on June 6-7.

Source: Event media, Ian Thomas

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