WSL signs broadcast deal with Australia's Seven
Seven, the Australian commercial broadcaster, has acquired exclusive free-to-air rights to the World Surf League for 2020.
Under the deal announced today, Seven will broadcast live events and highlights shows on its linear channels and 7plus streaming platform, beginning with this month’s Noosa Longboard World Tour event in Australia, continuing into the Qualifying Series and the Challenger Series events in Sydney and New Zealand.
All 12 stops of WSL’s flagship Championship Tour will be streamed live on 7plus, starting with the Corona Open Gold Cost in Australia on 26 March and ending in Hawaii with the Hawaii Pro and Billabong Pipeline Masters in December.
The World Surf New Weekly programme featuring event recaps, preview shows, athlete profiles and newsreels will be broadcast on 7mate, the free-to-air digital channel.
Seven succeeds pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports, which has held rights to the WSL since its inception in 2015.
Lewis Martin, managing director for Seven Melbourne and head of Network Sport, said: “We’ve thrilled to be showcasing the WSL on Seven, Surfing is one of Australia’s favourite sports and 2020 is marquee year for the sport, with its debut in the Olympics in Tokyo. As the home of Australia’s most-loved sports and Tokyo 2020, we’re delighted to be bringing the WSL to Australian audiences.”
Andrew Stark, WSL’s Asia-Pacific general manager, said: “We see 2020 as a huge year for audience growth in surfing. With the introduction of the WSL Challenger Series and WSL Big Wave at Large, and a new exotic location on the Championship Tour, not to mention the Olympics—this will the most exciting year in surfing and we couldn’t be happier to have Seven on board as a key partner for the ride.”
Last month, the WSL signed a three-year rights deal with Sky New Zealand, the country’s pay-TV broadcaster.