International pay-TV broadcaster beIN Media Group has agreed a multi-year rights deal covering the USA, Canada and Australia with the Ski Classics series of long-distance skiing events.
BeIN has signed the deal, which commences with the 2019-20 season, with the W Sportsmedia agency, rights-holder for Ski Classics.
David Nilsson, chief executive of W Sportsmedia, said: “Visma Ski Classics has with our 12 Pro Tour events and the new unlimited Challengers concept, a mission to create a new ‘one world of cross country skiing’ platform.
“Strong media partners in relevant markets play an important role to reach this goal. For Visma Ski Classics to sign this new agreement with beIN, a media powerhouse within global sports, making our sport available in important markets such as USA, Canada and Australia, is an important step in the right direction.”
The W Sportsmedia team recently attended the Sportel trade fair in Monaco, holding meetings in their Pro Tour trailer on show outside the Grimaldi Forum.
Nilsson said after the event: “I’ve seen a lot of new players, smaller OTT services, that are stepping into the arena, but live sport events still seem to be the best content that traditional TV media can get. Streaming services may rule in entertainment content, but traditional TV is strong when it comes to sports, particularly live broadcasts.”
On the development of the series ahead of its 10th season, Nilsson observed: “We have built a quality brand and now it is time to take the next step and expand. As a sport brand, we are just a baby compared to all the big leagues in the world. But we are on the right path, and the number of Central-European teams is very encouraging.”
Action from the Ski Classics has also been streamed live on the official Ski Classics Play service, which is priced at €6.99 ($7.69) for a day pass, €9.99 per month or €39.99 per year.
Ski Classics’ opening Pro Tour event of the 2019-20 season takes place in Livigno, Italy on November 29. The 12th round will be held in Ylläs-Levi, Finland on April 4.