World Surf League signs Fox Sports rights deal

The Fox Sports division of US network Fox has signed an exclusive rights deal with the World Surf League.

Under the agreement, Fox Sports becomes the exclusive US television broadcaster of the WSL 2019 Men’s and Women’s Championship Tour, along with the Big Wave Tour.

Fox Sports will this year showcase more than 500 hours of WSL programming, including live contests and highlights shows, across Fox, FS1, FS2 and the Fox Sports app.

Fox’s WSL programming begins with a one-hour preview show of the 2019 WSL on March 23. The show will highlight the current champions, rising contenders and rookies for the new season.

The 2019 Championship Tour season gets underway on April 3 in Australia with the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and Boost Mobile Pro, which will be aired on FS2 and the Fox Sports app.

FS2 will broadcast all Championship Tour contests live or close to live throughout the year, while it will also present the US Open of Surfing, the premier men’s and women’s qualifying series that takes place in Huntington Beach, California from July 27 to August 4. FS1 will also show eight, one-hour highlights shows after select contests.

Most recent

Social media giant Facebook’s challenges around its Copa Libertadores coverage in Latin America have convinced it that non-exclusive rights models form “one of the best ways” of breaking into markets where entrenched viewing habits restrict the potential for exclusive rights to grow engagement with the platform.

The Football Association rejected a higher bid for domestic FA Cup rights for the 2021-25 cycle from incumbent pay-television broadcaster BT Sport in favour of commercial broadcaster ITV, SportBusiness Media understands, in a move that took the competition exclusively free to air in the UK.

Spanish football’s LaLiga extended its rights deal in China with Wuhan DDMC Culture in May without going to market, where it would have faced a tough task maintaining its income, SportBusiness Media understands. The Chinese rights market has cooled since the previous deal was agreed, and DDMC is thought to be paying the league a strong rights fee.

South African pay-television operator Multichoice is facing the biggest challenge in its 26-year history in the form of a two-pronged regulatory attack on its dominant position in the country’s sports-rights market.