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Infront retains Norwegian Ski Federation international rights

The Infront agency has agreed a five-year extension with the Norwegian Ski Federation for the international media rights to all International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup events held in the country.

The deal, which runs from 2021-22 to 2025-26 and covers rights outside of Norway, includes Alpine, cross-country, ski jumping, Nordic Combined, freestyle, freeskiing and snowboard World Cup events.

Infront has held Norwegian Ski Federation international rights since 1995. Its current five-season deal with the federation began in 2016-17.

Stefan Krauss, vice-president, winter sports at Infront, said: “Norway is one of the leading countries in the winter sports market, which is why we are proud of our long-term involvement with the Norwegian Ski Federation.”

Domestic rights to the Norwegian Ski Federation events are held by public-service broadcaster NRK, in a deal that also runs from 2016-17 to 2020-21.

Infront is the dominant winter sports agency and has stockpiled international or global rights to national federations’ events in order to package and sell them on to broadcasters. The agency holds the majority of ski federations’ international rights, missing out only on the Austrian Ski Federation and Swiss Ski Association.

In Norway, NRK holds a package of FIS World Cup events marketed by Infront, in the 2016-21 cycle, meaning it broadcasts all FIS events available. However from 2021-22, Infront has already sold rights to those non-Norwegian events to pan-Nordic broadcaster Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group.

Infront also sold Nent the same 2021-26 package in neighbouring Finland and Sweden. Now that Infront has an renewal agreement in place with the Norwegian Ski Federation, the rights can now be folded in to these deals. The agency also has a deal in Austria with public-service broadcaster ORF for the rights, in which its thought that the FIS events in Norway will be folded in.

Meanwhile, NRK has today (Wednesday) announced that it has renewed its rights to the Visma Ski Classics for a further five years, from 2021-22 to 2025-26.