The UIPM, the international governing body for modern pentathlon, has named International Sports Broadcasting, the production company specialising in host broadcast coverage of major sporting events, as its new television and digital content partner.
Through the agreement, ISB, which was founded by sports broadcasting pioneer Manolo Romero, will be responsible for coordinating, producing, distributing and managing the rights of eight major UIPM events, including the Modern Pentathlon World Cup series, the World Cup Final and the World Championships.
The UIPM hopes that the experience and expertise of ISB will help to improve the broadcast product of modern pentathlon, which the federation’s secretary general Shiny Fang says has been problematic since TV became the main medium for the Olympic Games in the 1990s due to the sport’s multi-disciplinary and multi-venue nature.
Fang explained: “From 2018, we have been able to provide a one-venue concept for all five disciplines to present spectators a more compacted, dynamic view with one seat watching all five disciplines within five hours, as recently happened at the Tokyo games. However, it is still largely an edited live product with highlights and the only live broadcast coming for the Laser Run.
“From 2022, UIPM will be able to present a 90-minute real live TV programme for broadcasters and much wider audiences to really know this historic sport. For that, we need a partner with full Olympic experiences and spirit to help us, advise us, and to help us demonstrate the beauty of the sport. We are confident that ISB will be that partner.”
In addition, the UIPM is creating a commission aimed at helping to improve its TV product by “fostering the creative ideas that can be found within the modern pentathlon family as well as outside experts.”
It will comprise representatives from the UIPM athletes committee, its media partner and the national federations for the sport, as well as the executive board members for media and for marketing.
Klaus Schormann, the freshly re-elected president of the UIPM, said: “In the days of digital media, TV still plays an important part. Through the new partnership, we are extending and expanding our platform for promotion and marketing linked to all of our multi-sport events as well as the Olympic parts of modern pentathlon. We are very hopeful that this will help us capture an even bigger audience for our great sport.”
Meanwhile, the national federations of Denmark, Sweden and Finland have written a joint letter to Schormann criticising the running of the organisation's congress, which was held at the weekend (27-28 November) and at which Schormann was re-elected for an eighth term, it has been reported.
According to Insidethegames, which claims to have been shown the letter, it says there were “clear breaches” of the UIPM Election Rules, debate and criticism was stifled and an “invalid voting mechanism” was employed.
As yet, the UIPM has not publicly responded to the letter.