Eurosport has announced an extension and enhancement of their long term partnership to cover all major Italian cycling races for an additional four years.
The deal covers 2013 to 2016 and involves TV and digital rights for the Giro d’Italia as well as five other major Italian races, including the Milan – Sanremo, the Giro di Lombardia and Tirreno-Adriatico.
As part of the new four-year deal, there will be extended and upgraded live production and broadcasting of the races in high-definition for the first time.
The agreement includes all 70 territories covered by Eurosport in Europe (except France) and its Asia-Pacific channels, with British Eurosport holding exclusive live UK rights to these races.
More live action will also be produced with three hours live per stage for the Giro, an increase from the previous two hours, and a minimum of two hours live for the other races per day of competition.
All races will also be available in HD for the first time and Eurosport also has extensive digital rights will see all races broadcast on internet and mobile on the Eurosport Player online streaming service.
As part of the TV deal Eurosport now has sub-licensing rights for the Italian races in all the European territories where Eurosport is exclusive, meaning they could sell rights packages of races such as the Giro, one of road cycling’s premier events, to a UK free-to-air broadcaster.
Laurent-Eric Le Lay, chairman of Eurosport Group, says: “Eurosport has been a long-term partner of Giro d’Italia since 1998 and contributed to the continuous growth of this premium property in Europe and to the development of its notoriety in Asia and Pacific.
“We are pleased to extend this partnership for four additional years. With increased live coverage of Giro and other Italian races, HD quality and new exclusivities in 59 countries, Eurosport significantly consolidates its cycling offer.
“In 2013 our cycling portfolio is more than ever unrivalled and features the best events of the season with the three big Tours, the great classics and more than 40 races”.
Giacomo Catano, chief executive of RCS Sport, the organisers of Italy’s premier road races, said: “We are so proud and happy about this contract renewal with Eurosport for the TV coverage of our cycling events.
“Eurosport has been our partner since 1998 and we appreciate this continuous partnership based on mutual trust. We are confident that it will grant both RCS Sport and Eurosport improved results in terms of quality of production and consequently a high audience.
“On our side, the extensive coverage that Eurosport can guarantee in Europe and in Asia-Pacific is a key factor.
“We want to thank both Eurosport for its trust in RCS Sport and its long-term projects in cycling, and also our partner IMG, who helped to facilitate this important agreement”.
Ioris Francini, executive vice president of IMG Media says: “We are pleased to see the coverage of Giro d’Italia and the other Italian Classics continue on Eurosport with more coverage than ever before.
“Eurosport’s expertise in cycling is unrivalled and its growing reach both in Europe and Asia ensures wider distribution and exposure than ever before.
“The quality of the production and the international reach of Italian cycling are as strong as they have ever been, and we are proud to have in Eurosport a key strategic broadcast partner who will showcase Italian cycling across all platforms, broadcast, broadband, tablets and mobile”.
British Eurosport has an unrivalled line-up of live cycling throughout 2013, including extensive live coverage of the three Grand Tours – Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and La Vuelta a Espana – plus a selection of the best one-day classics and stage races from across Europe and beyond.
All races LIVE on British EurosportMarch 2 Strade Bianche March 3 Roma Maxima March 6-12 Tirreno – Adriatico March 17 Milano – Sanremo May 4-26 Giro d’Italia October 6 Il Lombardia All races above held under the auspices of RCS Sport