|Founded||5 February 1989|
|Founder||Peter Matthew Hutton|
|Headquarters||Issy-les-Moulineaux, Paris, France|
|Peter Matthew Hutton, CEO/ PDG|
Eurosport is a pan-European television sports network, owned and operated by Discovery Communications. Discovery took a 20% minority interest share in December 2012, and became the majority shareholder in the Eurosport venture with TF1 in January 2014, taking a 51% share of the company. On 22 July 2015 Discovery agreed to acquire TF1's remaining 49% stake in the venture.
Eurosport owns a wide range of rights across many sports but generally does not bid for premium priced rights such as those to major football leagues. However, in 2015 it was awarded rights to broadcast the Olympic Games from 2018 for most of Europe and 2022 for the UK and France in a deal worth €1.3 billion (£922 million). It transmits much of the same footage across many markets, using unseen commentators rather than on-screen presenters so that the same visual feed may be broadcast in multiple languages while holding down production costs.
Eurosport has also expanded its deal with The All England Club to show all the Wimbledon matches live in 16 additional countries. It is a 3-year deal that includes exclusive TV and digital rights. This expands their tennis portfolio to show all four Grand Slams.
The network of channels is available in 54 countries, in 20 different languages, providing viewers with European and international sporting events. Eurosport first launched on European satellites on 5 February 1989.
- 1 Sporting events
- 2 Summary of sports rights
- 3 History
- 4 Eurosport feeds
- 5 Channels
- 6 Viewing share
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Eurosport provides viewers with European and international sporting events. This includes several football competitions:
- NHL (only for Russia)
- Bundesliga (only for the Balkan Peninsula, Baltic states, Germany, Nordic Region, Serbia and most of Southeastern Europe)
- La Liga (only for Denmark)
- Premier League (only for Romania)
- Ligue 1 (only for the Netherlands)
- Italian Serie A (only for Denmark and the Netherlands)
- Ekstraklasa (except for Germany, UK and Ireland)
- EFL Championship
- UEFA Europa League (only for Poland and Scandinavia)
- UEFA Women's Championship, UEFA Women's Champions League
- Argentine Primera División (only for Belgium, Greece, the Italian Peninsula, Netherlands, Russia and Scandinavia)
- Brazilian League (only for Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and Scandinavia)
- Major League Soccer (except UK and Ireland)
- CAF African Cup of Nations
- AFC Asian Cup
- FIFA U-20 World Cup, FIFA Women's World Cup, FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and FIFA Futsal World Cup
Other sports events include the Paris Dakar Rally, Monte Carlo Rally, athletics events such as World Athletics Championships and the European Athletics Championships, cycling events such as the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia (except France) and the Vuelta a España, boxing events such as Premier Boxing Champions, kickboxing events such as SUPERKOMBAT Fighting Championship, tennis events including the French Open, Australian Open, Wimbledon (only for select territories), the US Open and the International Premier Tennis League (except Italy, UK and Ireland), World Championship Snooker, ICC World Twenty20, ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy, Sudirman Cup, All England Open Badminton Championships, Australian Football League, basketball events such as Eurocup, Euroleague (only for Greece) and Olympiakos Piraeus home matches in the Greek Basket League (only for Poland), PGA Tour (only for the Italian Peninsula), winter sports, and youth sports like skating and surfing.
Eurosport Events (formerly known as 'KSO Kigema Sports Organisation Ltd') is the Eurosport group's world-class sporting events management/promotion/production division, which promotes the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), the FIA European Touring Car Cup and the FIA European Rally Championship. Eurosport broadcasts every WTCC race live and every ERC rally either live or with daily highlights.
Eurosport Events was also the promoter of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, a rival rallying series to the World Rally Championship. The IRC ceased at the end of the 2012 season, with Eurosport taking over series promotion of the ERC from 2013.
Since 2008, the Eurosport Group has also been broadcasting the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans in full.
Eurosport airs MotoGP and Superbike World Championship in France and Germany, Formula Truck and the FIA European Truck Racing Championship in all of Europe and has Spanish broadcasting rights for NASCAR.
Summary of sports rights
Eurosport broadcasts different sporting events in each region. Region-specific events are noted in the table below with a flag indicating the country it is broadcast in. If no flag is present, the broadcast is multi territory.
Prior to the creation of Eurosport, the European Broadcasting Union was acquiring substantial amounts of sports rights, yet its members were only able to broadcast a fraction of them. This provided the impetus for setting up the Eurosport Consortium, made up of several EBU members, to establish an outlet where these rights could be exploited. Sky Television plc was chosen as a commercial partner, and the channel could launch on 5 February 1989.
Eurosport was closed down in May 1991 after the competing Screensport channel had filed a complaint to the European Commission over the corporate structure. The channel was however saved when the TF1 Group (formed after the French government privatised TF1 5 years prior to the acquisition) stepped in to replace BSkyB as joint-owners. A new Eurosport channel was able to start its broadcasts the same month.
On 1 March 1993, the cable and satellite channel Screensport merged with Eurosport. Eurosport eventually came under a French consortium comprising the TF1 Group, Canal+ Group and Havas Images. In January 2001, TF1 took full ownership of Eurosport.
In 2008, Eurosport launched an online subscription service, Eurosport Player, that allows Internet users to watch both Eurosport and Eurosport 2 live, plus additional coverage not available via broadcast. During the 2009 Australian Open, the Internet player offered coverage from five courts.
On 5 April 2011 Eurosport rebranded its channel. The rebrand incorporated six new on-air idents along with a new logo and presentation style both on-air and off-air. The new on-air identity has been designed by Paris-based design company Les Télécréateurs. All localised Eurosport channels and the Eurosport website embraced the new identity.
Eurosport, having been one of the first channels to broadcast on the Astra 1 group of satellites, was the last satellite channel in Europe to broadcast in an analogue format. On 30 April 2012, shortly after 03:00 CET, the rest of the remaining analogue channels at 19.2 East ceased transmission. Eurosport's analogue channel finally ceased transmission on 1 May 2012 at 01:30 CET, marking the end of an era in European satellite broadcasting.
In Europe, Eurosport 1 is generally available in basic cable and satellite television packages. Since 1999, Eurosport 1 provides various opt-out services providing more relevant sporting content specific to language, advertising and commentary needs. Eurosport offers a stand-alone channel which provides a standardised version of the channel (Eurosport International in English). Alongside this there are also local Eurosport channels in France, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Poland, Nordic region and Asia Pacific. These channels offer greater sporting content with local sporting events, while also utilising the existing pan-European feed. The German version of Eurosport is the only one available free-to-air on European digital satellite television.
Eurosport 1 is currently broadcast in twenty languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Greek, Turkish, and Cantonese.
In Asia-Pacific territories, Eurosport offers a specific channel to this region. Eurosport (Asia-Pacific) launched on 15 November 2009. The service is available in Australia through Foxtel, Optus and TransACT. On 3 November 2014, a HD simulcast launched on Foxtel.
This is the main channel of Eurosport. A high-definition simulcast version of Eurosport launched on 25 May 2008. The first event covered in HD being the 2008 French Open at Roland Garros. On 13 November 2015 it changed its name to Eurosport 1 HD
A supplementary channel featuring more live sports events, programming and news updates. Eurosport 2 launched on 10 January 2005 and is currently available in 35 countries, broadcasting in 16 different languages English, Swedish, French, Italian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Russian, Bulgarian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Turkish, Czech, Danish, Dutch and Spanish.
Eurosport 2 is self-describing as "the new generation sports channel" - dedicated to team sports, alternative sports, discovery and entertainment including basketball, Twenty20 Cricket, National Lacrosse League, Arena Football League, surfing, Volleyball Champions League, Australian Rules Football matches from the Australian Football League, Bandy World Championships and more.
Eurosport 2 HD, a high-definition version of the channel, is also available.
Eurosport 2 will be also launched in Asia Pacific in the foreseeable future.
A sports news channel launched on 1 September 2000, featuring live scores, highlights, breaking news and commentary. The service combines video, text and graphics with the screen being divided into 4 sections - a video section that displays highlights and news bulletins, a breaking news ticker at the bottom and a scoring section that gives in-depth analysis of results and game stats.
In the UK, British Eurosport launched in 1999, replacing Eurosport International on most platforms with some schedule variations and local commentary. The launch of British Eurosport and creation of programming specifically for the UK was initially funded by Premium TV, which did not have a stake in the sports channel, but received a share of the revenue. British Eurosport had live studio presentations of major sporting events and tournaments.
On British Eurosport James Richardson previously hosted the coverage of Serie A football on the Channel from 2002 to 2005 and 2004 UEFA European Football Championship with regular guests including Alan Curbishley, DJ Spoony, former Chelsea FC players Paul Elliott, Ed de Goey, Ray Wilkins, Roberto Di Matteo & former Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini now at LA Galaxy, former England International Luther Blissett and European football journalists Gabriele Marcotti and Xavier Rivoire.
For tennis, studio presentation for the Australian Open, French Open, U.S. Open and WTA Tour Championships on British Eurosport is hosted by Annabel Croft with the segment Hawk-Eye presented by former British number 2 Jason Goodall. (Goodall was briefly ranked ahead of Chris Bailey, Nick Brown, Andrew Castle, Nick Fulwood, Mark Petchey, and James Turner, in May 1989).
British Eurosport covers the snooker season including ranking events not broadcast by BBC Television including the Shanghai Masters and China Open. Mike Hallett and former world champion Joe Johnson are among the commentators.
British Eurosport has also three figure skating commentators: former Winter Olympic Games competitors Chris Howarth & Nicky Slater, and veteran commentator Simon Reed - brother of the late actor Oliver Reed.
Tour de France coverage in 2014 was commentated on by Carlton Kirby (following the departure of David Harmon) with veteran cyclist Sean Kelly as the technical expert. The duo continued to commentate in 2015 and an additional pre and post programme was broadcast, "Lemond on Tour". This was presented by Ashley House with comment and analysis from Eurosport Cycling Ambassador Greg LeMond. Additional interviews were provided by Spanish cycling journalist Laura Meseguer and former pro racing cyclist Juan Antonio Flecha.
On 10 February 2009, British Eurosport started to broadcast most of its programming in the 16:9 'widescreen' ratio. After the collapse of Setanta Sports, rights for the 2009 season in the USPGA Golf tour reverted to British Eurosport.
On 25 July 2012, British Eurosport HD launched on the Sky, UPC Ireland and Virgin Media platforms, this replaced the pan-European Eurosport HD in the UK and Ireland. Despite Ireland not being in the UK, Irish viewers receive British Eurosport. British Eurosport 2 HD launched on 3 September 2012 on the Sky platform. Virgin Media has also carried Eurosport 3D to broadcast the 2011 and 2012 French Open and 2012 Summer Olympics. UPC Ireland also broadcast Eurosport 3D for the 2011 French Open. Throughout the duration of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Eurosport 3D also broadcast on the Sky 3D channel.
On 13 November 2015 British Eurosport changed its names to Eurosport 1 & Eurosport 1 HD.
Being an international channel, Eurosport's performance differs significantly between different countries. The figures below show the channel's share of overall viewing in some countries.
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