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September 30, 2022

WBD and The Ocean Race build on 2021 collaboration with long-term partnership

The aim of the new partnership is to extend the reach of the race to WBD’s audience around the world.

By Stu Robarts

Multinational media and entertainment giant Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) and The Ocean Race round-the-world sailing event have entered into a new long-term coverage and distribution partnership.

The deal, announced yesterday (September 29), builds on the collaboration between the two last year for the inaugural staging of The Ocean Race Europe, the new continental edition of the race intended to be held at a two-year interval with a generally quadrennial running of the main event.

The aim of the tie-up is to extend the reach of the global race to WBD’s audience around the world, beginning with the next edition, which will start in Alicante, Spain, (also where The Ocean Race is headquartered) on January 15, 2023, and is due to finish in Genoa, Italy, around six months later.

The last edition of The Ocean Race ran between October 14, 2017, and June 30, 2018, with the Dongfeng Race Team triumphing.

The new partnership covers live broadcasts, editorial content production, multi-platform distribution, and third-party commercial agreements.

WBD will broadcast the upcoming race on its pan-European linear sports network Eurosport, as well as on the Eurosport App and the Discovery+ streaming platform.

There will also be coverage of the race on Eurosport.com, including news content and video clip.

In addition, WBD will lead on the creation of accompanying content for partnerships with other broadcasters around the world.

WBD Sports Europe, the regional division of the company’s sports brands, channels, and platforms subsidiary, puts its reach at 130 million people every month in over 200 markets and more than 20 languages.

In July, WBD Sports announced record audience growth for its television, streaming, and online channels.

Richard Brisius, chairman of The Ocean Race, said: “This is the first time that we have an official broadcast partner take on such a wide-ranging role across multiple editions of the event. The appetite for the exciting content that is unique to The Ocean Race is second to none.

“We are excited to expand on the immersive, multi-platform experience around the race action that we share with fans on our digital channels, and the partnership with WBD, will help to expand our reach outside of our traditional audience and ensure that this historic and iconic race reaches new territories.”  

Scott Young, senior vice president for content and production at WBD Sports Europe, commented: “The story of The Ocean Race will be live, engaging, immersive, and entertaining.

“We see a great opportunity in our partnership around production to elevate its recognized world-class live coverage alongside new formats that unearth the stories, people, and relationships that are at the heart of this epic race. By striving for greater storytelling around the event, we can help audiences better understand the race and everything that goes into competing in the greatest round-the-world sailing challenge.”

Trojan Paillot, vice president for sports rights acquisitions and syndication at WBD Sports Europe, added: “The Ocean Race is one of the most spectacular and inspirational properties in sport and we are privileged to showcase it around the world. The Race provides action and stories that appeal to audiences across our sport and entertainment platforms, providing an outstanding opportunity to grow viewership of the race throughout the household.

“With our proven ability to optimize rights distribution, we also have an exciting opportunity to strike partnerships with broadcasters in territories around the world who offer the potential to expand audiences even further.”

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