The Ocean Race, the round-the-world sailing event, has today announced a broadcast partnership with US media giant Discovery ahead of the launch of its new European race.

The inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe starts in Lorient in France tomorrow, and will be shown live by Discovery’s pan-European sports broadcaster Eurosport.

There will be an extensive offering across Eurosport’s television channels and digital platforms, including live coverage of the start in 54 markets in Europe and in 19 languages.

Eurosport will also air four weekly highlight shows via its app, as well as on Discovery Plus in markets where Eurosport is available on Discovery’s global streaming service, and daily news coverage and promotion on its website.

The respective parties said the new partnership will “unlock the power of The Ocean Race and the engaging content it produces".

The Ocean Race Europe, which involves stops in Cascais in Portugal and Alicante in Spain, and is due to end in Genoa in Italy on 19 June, is being held ahead of the return of the flagship main event in 2022-23.

The next edition of the The Ocean Race was due to be held in 2021-22, but has been delayed by 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The last edition was held in 2017-18.  

Andrew Georgiou, Eurosport president and Discovery global sports rights and sports marketing services, said today: “In The Ocean Race we see an event with enormous storytelling potential.

“As we share more content across Discovery Plus, we see an appetite in our audience for content that overlaps what we traditionally think of as entertainment or sport. The broad range of stories around The Ocean Race, including a focus on ocean health, is perfect for this.

“By partnering with The Ocean Race, we have the opportunity to harness the full power and scale of the Discovery portfolio to bring The Ocean Race Europe to millions of viewers in its first year, further expanding the reach of the sport and engagement with new audiences.”

Richard Brisius, race chairman of The Ocean Race, added: “The Ocean Race is a very unique event in the world of sport, with a very broad range of content available, from pure sport, to adventure, technology and engineering, nature, weather, human drama and many more, with sustainability a core value that supports all of this.

“Our goal is to deliver the very best sport and crossover content to existing and new fans. We share this very ambitious vision with Discovery and we are thrilled to begin a co-operation around The Ocean Race Europe and look forward to serving fans on Discovery’s platforms.”

The event organisers said coverage of The Ocean Race Europe is “the first step on a journey that will see wide-ranging and engaging content from The Ocean Race developed and distributed worldwide".

There will an additional roll-out of explainer and short stories on digital channels, as well as daily news coverage, photos, and videos across social platforms.

The Ocean Race in 2022-23 will be the first under its new name after long-time owner Volvo Cars pulled out (while remaining a premier partner), and will involve the previous confirmed stopovers and two separate boat classes in the VO65, which has featured in the last two editions, and the IMOCA 60.