In a press release released today, the IFSC has just announced that it has signed a three-year broadcasting agreement with the Discovery Group (Eurosport).
From April 8, the world championships and world championships will now be broadcast live on the pay channels Discovery + and Eurosport.
In a press release entitled “IFSC takes advantage of the growing popularity of climbing to sign a three-year deal with Discovery,” said Marco Scolaris, IFSC President:
“More than anything else, our agreement to showcase our sport on Discovery channels and platforms will enhance the appeal of our sport and our athletes, which should result in greater sponsorship opportunities for all climbers around the world. We are confident that The partnership with Discovery will help consolidate our position as one of the fastest growing Olympic sports and through this greater exposure will make more and more people not only interested in watching climbing but also trying it out. ”
Trojan Paillot, Vice President of Sports Rights Acquisition and Syndication at Discovery Sports, said:
“Last year during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, mountaineering proved to be incredibly popular with our viewers and Internet users. The discipline has proven to be attractive to new audiences, separate from those who already enjoy watching the sport, and demonstrates its potential for commitment and growth.We are pleased to present the best of climbing for the next three years on Discovery’s channels and platforms and especially on Eurosport.Discovery has built a solid reputation for helping with the development of certain sports and events and open “We are looking forward to bringing more people across Europe to Paris by 2024.”
The free lives are now over
Until now, all international competitions have been available live and free on the IFSC YouTube channel, which has 223,000 subscribers and 53,121,281 total views to date. The World Cup and World Championships will from now on be broadcast live on Youtube.
However, the IFSC ensures that the repeat of the competitions will be online for free and will be broadcast 24 hours after the end of each round of each competition.
While this announcement has just fallen, many climbers are already rebelling on social networks, assuring that they will not subscribe to a subscription to follow the contests live on a pay channel.
Does the 2017 scenario repeat itself?
In 2017, just hours before the start of the season’s first bouldering World Cup, the IFSC announced that it had entered into a three-year subscription contract with US sports live streaming company FloClimbing. That meant life after the World Cup would be rewarding: $ 20 a month or $ 150 a year.
The climbing community immediately united and rose up against this news like never before. A petition against the decision collected more than 12,500 signatures, and international climbers from all countries protested at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Meiringen and waved red cards.
Faced with everyone’s general outrage, the international federation had therefore initially decided not to broadcast the World Cup live from Meiringen on FloClimbing.com, as it was planned to do, but to make this first free event available to everyone, free of charge from Youtube, which life had always been.
But once this competition was over, there was no question of stopping the debate there. That’s why all climbers who are part of the IFSC Athletes Commission had written an open letter, to make their anger heard. Eventually, the International Federation reversed its decision and severed its partnership with FloClimbing, saying:
“We made a mistake and we’m sorry. IFSC life will remain free, as it was during the first World Cup in Meiringen, Switzerland, and as in previous years. Any future changes to this policy will be discussed internally and subject to the approval of our stakeholders. Let’s keep climbing together. »
Concerns are once again being raised on social media about the impact this latest deal with Discovery Sports could have on athletes, sponsors and the sport’s grassroots audience around the world.