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August 25, 2022

Volleyball World and ESPN in LATAM deal; Mexico’s Beach Volleyball World Championships venues announced

It will be the first time the championships have been held outside Europe for 20 years.

By Stu Robarts

Volleyball World, the joint venture between the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and CVC Capital Partners, has agreed a three-year broadcast partnership in Latin America with international sports broadcaster ESPN.

Through the agreement, ESPN has rights in the region for all FIVB and Volleyball World events until 2024.

It covers all of Spanish-speaking Latin America, including Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico, and it includes both indoor and beach volleyball.

Taylor said: “Partnering with ESPN to bring international volleyball and beach volleyball to Latin American fans is an important deal for Volleyball World and signifies the growing popularity of both sports around the world.

“This deal represents the significant growth in media rights value for volleyball in the region and allows new fans throughout Latin America to watch the very best volleyball and beach volleyball athletes for the next three years.”

FIVB president Ary Graça added: “ESPN is the perfect strategic fit for helping to reach even more fans in Latin America where there is already a passionate fan base ready for more volleyball content. Volleyball World’s concerted efforts to build the profile of our sport in new and emerging markets is incredibly important to the long-term growth and success of volleyball.

“Of course, this profile building also goes hand-in-hand with the efforts of the FIVB to develop the sport worldwide. As the FIVB strives to provide national teams with the skills and knowledge to reach their full potential and become role models, Volleyball World is working with partners like ESPN to showcase these heroes of the sport to millions of fans.”

Elsewhere, the 2023 edition of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, the premier international teams competitions for the sport outside of the Olympics, will be hosted by the Mexican cities of Tlaxcala, Huamantla, and Apizaco.

Yesterday’s (August 24) announcement by the FIVB follows its confirmation of Mexico as the host country in June.

It will be the first time the North American country has hosted the event and the first time the championships have been held outside Europe for 20 years when Rio, Brazil, hosted the 2003 edition.

Mexico 2023 will run from October 6 to 15. It will be contested by 48 teams across both the men’s and women’s competitions, with the winners of each to qualify for a place at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships was first held in 1997 and has been every two years since, with the exception of the 2021 edition, which was postponed to this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rome 2022, as it was subsequently known, was won by Norway (men) and Brazil (women). Brazil is the most successful country across both competitions in the tournament's history.

Finn Taylor, chief executive of the Volleyball World joint venture between the FIVB and CVC Capital Partners, said: “Bringing the world’s most important beach volleyball championships to Mexico is a significant step forward for the sport. As beach volleyball continues to flourish globally, we are excited to add a new host country to the rich history of this illustrious event. We can’t wait for fans around the world to come to Mexico to experience this country and our beautiful sport.

“The championships also further cements our commitment to bringing top-level beach volleyball to Mexico, which will also see multiple high-profile Beach Pro Tour tournaments staged in the country over the next five years.”

Image: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

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