Australian commercial broadcaster Seven has acquired rights to new franchise-based competition the International Swimming League.
Seven will broadcast all seven events on the inaugural ISL calendar, commencing with the first meet in the US city of Indianapolis on October 5-6.
The first six meets will be shown exclusively live in Australia by Seven’s digital service 7plus, with scheduling plans for the final in Las Vegas on December 20-21 yet to be confirmed. Highlights of every ISL meet will also be provided on digital channels 7Two and 7plus.
Discovery-owned sports broadcaster Eurosport acquired rights in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region last month. Eurosport secured the rights for the 2019 and 2020 editions in a deal that includes digital rights, but excluded Australia. Exclusive sublicensing rights in all territories except Australia and USA were also part of the agreement.
In&OutStories, the Paris-based media rights consultancy launched by former Eurosport executive Arnaud Simon, was involved in brokering the Seven rights agreement in Australia. Simon left Eurosport last year after 24 years at the broadcaster, laterally as senior vice-president for content and production.
The ISL will involve eight teams – four from the United States and four from Europe – compete over two-day meets in a full program of events spanning 50m to 400m. Leading Australian swimmers Kyle Chalmers, Cate and Bronte Campbell, Ariarne Titmus and Mitch Larkin, are amongst those who have signed up.
Seven’s head of sport, Saul Shtein, said: “The ISL will give swimming an established place in the annual sporting calendar and offers sports fans the chance to watch the world’s best compete regularly in an exciting new format, while this inaugural season should also provide a tantalising lead-in to Tokyo 2020.”