TV right sewn up

America's Cup Management finalise deals in New Zealand and the US

Thursday August 4th 2005, Author: Peter Rusch, Location: none selected
Television networks in two countries, which have combined to host the America's Cup for 30 of the 31 times the trophy has previously been contested, have each recently acquired the television rights for the 32nd America's Cup.

Television New Zealand (TVNZ) has obtained the rights for New Zealand whilst the OLN will televise America's Cup programming in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean basin.

The two agreements mean there are now 14 rights-holding broadcasters or networks for the 32nd America's Cup, covering most of Europe and North America along with New Zealand and Africa.

"The United States is a very important territory for the America's Cup, both commercially and sentimentally as the country that first won and then successfully defended the Cup for 132-years," said Michel Bonnefous, the CEO of the organisers of the 32nd America's Cup. "New Zealand is also important for us as it has been the heart of the America's Cup since its victory in 1995. These two agreements are good for the event, as well as for the teams based in each territory."

Television New Zealand (TVNZ) has been involved in every America's Cup since the 1986/1987 contest in Fremantle, Australia, and acted as host broadcaster for the last two Matches in Auckland.

Programming, under the free-to-air One Sport banner, will include highlight coverage of each of the opening pre-regattas, the Louis Vuitton Acts in 2005, 2006 and 2007, along with live action from the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection series and America's Cup Match in 2007.

"For us it's a continuation of the involvement TVNZ has had over several America's Cups," said Murray Needham, General Manager of One Sport. "We are naturally very excited that our involvement will continue into 2007."

In North America, OLN, available in more than 64 million homes in the United States, will show magazine programmes, along with weekly highlight programming of the Louis Vuitton Acts.

OLN will continue to carry highlight programming through each of the Louis Vuitton Acts and the round robins of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection series in 2007. The network will begin showing live coverage of the races with the Semi Finals and Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup, and concluding with the 32nd America's Cup Match itself in June 2007.

"There are certain events that, as a sports fan, you can't miss, and the America's Cup is one of them," said Gavin Harvey, President of OLN. "These crews go through years of intense preparation in anticipation of this race. Our coverage will tell the story of the race itself, but also the crews who dedicate their lives to winning it."

OLN covered the previous edition of the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2002/2003. The next races of the 32nd America's Cup will come from the Malmö-Skåne Louis Vuitton Acts beginning on 25 August.

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