The Baku European Games Operation Committee (BEGOC) announced this week announced a landmark broadcast agreement with International Sports Broadcasting (ISB) to serve as the host broadcaster for the inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The agreement means that fans throughout Europe, and worldwide, will have the opportunity to enjoy television and online coverage of the first-ever European Games, which will be held June 12-28, 2015 in the Caspian Sea city of Baku. The Games, which were created by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) and awarded to Baku in December 2012, will feature more than 5,000 athletes from 49 countries competing in at least 18 sports.
During the 16 days of European Games competition, ISB will produce an anticipated 1,200 hours of high-quality broadcast coverage in high definition, including live coverage of all event semi-finals and finals and a daily highlights package. ISB will also cover the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the evening entertainment from the Victory Celebration Plaza.
ISB is recognised worldwide for its excellence and innovation in sports broadcasting. Founded in 1996 by Manolo Romero, ISB has served as the host broadcaster for many of the world’s leading sporting events, including seven Olympic Games, six Paralympic Games, numerous World Championships and World Cups, and continental events such as the Pan American Games.
In addition to its role as host broadcaster, ISB has been appointed to manage the sale of broadcast rights for the 2015 European Games to broadcasters throughout Europe and beyond. ISB will also design and operate the International Broadcast Centre for the 2015 European Games.
“Having a comprehensive broadcast offering is an important part of our strategy to make the inaugural European Games a success, and in ISB we have the perfect partner,” Minister of Youth and Sport and BEGOC Chief Executive Officer Azad Rahimov said. “Manolo Romero and his team will help us showcase the athletes of Europe, as well as the history and culture of our country, to viewers around the world.”
“This is very positive news, not only for the inaugural European Games in Baku in 2015 but also for the long-term sustainability of the European Games,” EOC President Patrick Hickey said. “It shows that the European Games is a viable product that can command significant TV audiences, in Europe and around the world. In turn, this will help attract serious commercial partners for future editions.
“Above all else, I am pleased that elite athletes in Europe will have an appropriate broadcast platform from which to showcase their talents,” Hickey added.
“We have been very fortunate to broadcast many of the world’s greatest events and have also had the unique opportunity to help events grow in stature,” Romero said. “We firmly believe that the European Games will be one of the world’s next great sporting spectacles. We are honoured to be chosen to transmit these inaugural Games to Europe and the rest of the world and to partner with Baku to showcase its dynamic and thriving culture.”
In support of the 2015 European Games legacy, ISB will work with aspiring broadcast professionals from Azerbaijan to provide hands-on training and experience in sports broadcasting in the lead up to, and during, the European Games.
“This announcement represents an important milestone for the European Games and we are delighted to be partnering with a global leader in ISB,” BEGOC Chief Operating Officer Jim Scherr said. “Athletes, National Olympic Committees and Sport Federations can be certain that, through the work of ISB, the inaugural European Games will enjoy the widest possible broadcast coverage on a stage befitting Europe’s finest athletes.”