Eurosport, the Discovery-owned, pan-European broadcaster, has struck a three-year deal with the International Judo Federation to boost exposure of the sport in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Eurosport will screen highlights shows from major events on the judo calendar, including the Grand Slams, Masters and World Championships in 54 countries and territories across Europe, and 16 markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
The World Championships, beginning with this month's event in Baku, Azerbaijan, will be shown live or delayed in: Albania, Austria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, the UK and Australia.
Future Grand Slams and Masters events will be shown live or delayed in: Albania, Austria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Germany and Australia.
In addition, Eurosport will carry a monthly magazine show and produce new episodes of its Sports Explainer series to help fans gain a greater understanding of judo.
L'Equipe, the Amaury Group-owned digital terrestrial sports television channel, holds rights in France to the IJF’s major events until 2020. Eleven Sports, the international pay-television broadcaster, holds rights to the 2018 World Judo Championships in Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg (plus USA).
Emir Osmanbegovic, senior vice-president of sports content and production at Eurosport, said: “The agreement will give judo the platform it deserves to reach millions of fans across both Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
“At Eurosport, we have continued to stress that we perceive ourselves as more than just a sports broadcaster that shows live sport – we want to tell the stories behind the athletes and the intricacies behind sport through stunning innovations. Our partnership with the IJF will allow sports fans across the world the chance to learn about judo and follow the sport like never before in the lead up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.”
Marius Vizer, president of the IJF, added: “We are delighted to welcome Eurosport to the judo family as one of our key partners on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This is an exciting and important time for our sport and we are looking forward to bringing world-class judo to Eurosport and sharing the values of our sport with a new audience."
Tokyo 2020 will mark the first summer Olympics in Discovery's €1.3-billion ($1.5-billion) rights contract across Europe (excluding Russia, and excluding France for 2018 and 2020) for the 2018 to 2024 period.