ISB seals fresh European Games contract

Madrid-headquartered International Sports Broadcasting has officially retained its position as the host broadcaster of the European Games for next year’s edition of the multi-sport event in Minsk, adding rights distribution to its contract.

ISB served as the host broadcaster for the inaugural European Games, which took place in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2015, and an initial announcement on a tentative agreement was made in January.

A tender for the contract to the 2019 Games was run by the local organising committee, the Belarussian Olympic Committee, Belarus National State TV and Radio Company, as well as certain government ministries and departments.

At the time, Minsk 2019 said ISB entered an offer for the contract alongside Portuguese production company Media Luso-Mediapro and Russian state-backed broadcaster Match TV. Anatoly Kotov, deputy chief executive of Minsk 2019, had said a final contract was expected to take around two months to seal.

The European Olympic Committees has now confirmed ISB’s appointment, adding it will sell broadcasting rights for the second European Games, which will take place from June 21-30, 2019.

A key feature of the second edition of the Games is the exclusive new-look mixed gender athletics event, ‘Dynamic New Athletics’. The event has been designed in collaboration with European Athletics to appeal to a wider television audience, with the new format involving Europe’s top 30-ranked nations competing across 10 events in a maximum time of two hours.

By staging the European Games in the year preceding the Olympic Games, 11 sports in Minsk will be Olympic qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Games with organisers hoping this will help the event attract a larger television audience.