SVT makes three-year rights commitment to orienteering

Swedish public broadcaster SVT has renewed its commitment to orienteering after reaching a new three-year rights agreement with the International Orienteering Federation, the sport’s world body.

The agreement ensures coverage of the World Orienteering Championships and Orienteering World Cup in one of the sport’s heartlands between 2020 and 2022.

SVT is the IOF’s long-standing rights-holder in Sweden and broadcast the 2019 World Orienteering Championships, which took place in neighbouring Norway. That coverage, the IOF said, attracted over 400,000 Swedish viewers as Sweden took double gold medals in the men’s and women’s relay competitions.

In addition to live rights to the World Orienteering Championships and European Orienteering Championships over the next three years, SVT has also acquired rights to the World Cup events and will “determine the use of those rights on a case-by-case basis”.

Åsa Edlund Jönsson, head of sport at SVT, said: “With a world-class Swedish national team and modern TV productions, orienteering has become an exciting TV sport that engages viewers. The World Orienteering Championships last year was a real success with our audience and we are therefore very happy to have secured a long-term agreement for six international championships.”

Tom Hollowell, IOF secretary general and chief executive, said: “We have had excellent cooperative discussions with SVT and the Swedish Orienteering Federation around the development of our TV offering and having this first longer-term agreement in place is an acknowledgement of orienteering as an interesting sporting experience for spectators and viewers. This agreement is also very important to us as we strive to work with other national broadcast partners in both established and new markets.”

The IOF also offers global streaming of its events on its liveorienteering.com portal. During the 2019 World Orienteering Championships, a subscription pass was priced at €10 ($11.18).

Broadcast distribution for the 2019 World Championships was also secured in Estonia (ERR), Denmark (TV2 Denmark), Finland (YLE) and Norway (NRK). The IOF has in the past worked with Broadreach Media, the boutique media rights agency, on its international distribution.