The Eurosport Events arm of international sports broadcaster Eurosport has agreed a 10-year deal to become the global promoter of all speedway events organised by the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM).
The agreement announced today (Thursday) commences in 2022 and will see the Discovery-owned event management company promote the likes of Speedway Grand Prix, Speedway of Nations, Speedway U21 and Speedway Youth World Championships globally.
In becoming the promoter from 2022, Eurosport Events will replace the incumbent BSI Speedway, the IMG-owned motor racing promoter. The FIM has also worked on certain events with OneSport, the Polish sports event production company that specialises in speedway.
The new deal builds on the existing work between the organisations for the promotion of the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) since 2015. In April 2019, Eurosport Events signed a new 10-year deal to continue as the promoter of the EWC through to 2029.
In its expanded role following an invitation to tender to select the new global promoter of the sport, Eurosport Events said that it will aim to leverage its long-standing motorsport promotion expertise and the international scale of Discovery to grow speedway around the world.
SportBusiness Media understands that the FIM board weighed up three different bids during the tender process towards the end of 2019, before shortlisting offers from Discovery and BSI and ultimately opting to grant the contract to Discovery.
The tie-up with Discovery will seek to expand Speedway GP’s international calendar, extend the distribution of the sport on television and digital platforms, launch speedway into new territories and increase its audiences around the world.
Eurosport Events will oversee the full operational and commercial aspects of the sport, including multi-platform rights management and distribution, broadcast production, sponsorship rights strategy and the full suite of marketing, brand and promotional activity. It will also work with local organisers on local promotion and maximising ticketing, hospitality and fan engagement activities.
FIM president Jorge Viegas said: “The FIM launched the tender process back in 2019 for the promotion of the FIM Speedway World Championships 2022-2031. Discovery and Eurosport Events has won the vote of the board of directors for its innovative proposal in terms of sport promotion and television coverage.
“This new collaboration will provide increased media visibility of the FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship through Eurosport platforms and key third-party broadcasters. The FIM would like to thank BSI and OneSport who have made a significant contribution to the development of speedway over the past 20 years and to wish them every success in 2021 and for the remainder of this season.”
The new FIM deal adds to Eurosport Events’ growing motorsport portfolio. This includes the International Automobile Federation’s (FIA) World Touring Car Cup and European Rally Championship, as well as new electric touring car series PURE ETCR.
Head of Eurosport Events, François Ribeiro, said: “Beyond our global media footprint, which was an asset during the tendering process, we proposed to FIM a comprehensive pyramid approach from grass roots and junior world championships up to the Speedway GP and Speedway of Nations top level. Speedway sporting foundations are strong. Speedway remains one of the only motorsport categories organised in stadiums, driven by fans.”