Sunset+Vine named Birmingham 2022 host broadcaster in potential three-Games deal

UK-based production company Sunset+Vine has been named as the host broadcaster of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in a deal that could be extended to include the 2026 and 2030 editions of the multi-sport event.

Following an invitation to tender process launched in September last year, Sunset+Vine is understood to have defeated competition from two other companies to secure the contract.

SportBusiness understands that the total value of the contract for a potential three-Games remit is £78m (€86.9m/$98.3m) excluding VAT.

The contract entails full delivery of all aspects of the Birmingham 2022 host broadcast, including the capturing of multi-camera broadcast coverage across all 19 sports, plus the opening and closing ceremonies and additional material such as preview series, support programming, highlights programmes and short-form content.

There is an option to extend the agreement to the 2026 and 2030 editions, the venues for which have yet to be decided.

Sunset+Vine formed a joint venture with Global Television, the Australia-based broadcast services company, to handle the host broadcast of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Sunset+Vine was also involved in the host broadcast of the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, supporting broadcast production group NEP (which bought Global Television in 2013). Seven Network, the Australian free-to-air commercial broadcaster and domestic rights-holder, also supported the 2018 host broadcast operation.

At Birmingham 2022, Sunset+Vine is to provide a range of extra services, including a 24/7 Games Channel featuring the best of each day’s action, plus a multi-channel service consisting of six uninterrupted feeds comprised of a combination of live and delayed action for linear broadcast and digital platforms.

The International Broadcast Centre at Birmingham 2022 is to be designed, installed and managed by Sunset+Vine.

The ITT process was launched by Birmingham 2022 and CGF Partnerships, the commercial vehicle set up by the Commonwealth Games Federation and the recently-rebranded Sportfive agency.

A ‘host broadcasting master services agreement’ has now been entered into between CGF Partnerships and Sunset+Vine, while a services agreement has been put in place between Birmingham 2022 and the production company. CGF Partnerships has the option to re-appoint Sunset+Vine in 2026 and 2030 subject to the consent of the relevant host city and the successful delivery of the services in 2022 (and then in 2026).

During the initial timeline set out, a deadline of October 7 was set for receipt of tenders or requests to participate, with a November 25 deadline pencilled in for the “date of dispatch of invitations to tender or to participate to selected candidates”. The £78m value of the potential three-games contract is a slight fall on the £81m (excluding VAT) initially projected upon the launch of the invitation to tender process.

At least 15 per cent of the 1,600 technical and production workforce for the 2022 Commonwealth Games will come from Birmingham and the West Midlands in a drive to create jobs to meet skill shortages in the creative industries, with a focus on underrepresented groups. Sunset+Vine said that it is committed to launching a Host Broadcast Training Initiative (HBTI) in the West Midlands, offering training to 200 young people from the region.

Ian Reid, Birmingham 2022’s chief executive, said today (Monday): “Sunset + Vine is internationally renowned for delivering award winning coverage of the biggest sporting events in the world. Working with them guarantees that more coverage of Birmingham 2022 will be made available than any other Commonwealth Games, putting the West Midlands firmly on the global stage and delivering an unforgettable experience for fans.”

Jeff Foulser, chief executive at Sunset+Vine, added: “This is such an exciting win for Sunset+Vine and we are delighted to have prevailed following a very rigorous bidding process. The contract award further establishes the company as one of the few worldwide businesses with the creative and technical expertise to handle large scale events.”

Meanwhile, CGF Partnership chief executive David Leather said that a “key part of our strategy is to create long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships and we now have the arrangements in place to partner with Sunset+Vine and ensure a very high-quality broadcast for the next three Commonwealth Games”.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place in Birmingham and the West Midlands area from July 28 to August 8, 2022. The track cycling will take place at London’s Lee Valley velodrome, while separate archery and shooting events will take place in Chandigarh, India at the start of 2022 following the resolution of a dispute with the Indian Olympic Association.