U.S. Figure Skating and NBC Sports Group Partner on Long-Term Media Rights Agreement
(4/23/2018) – U.S. Figure Skating and NBC Sports Group have partnered on a media rights agreement that provides NBC Sports Group with exclusive media rights to premier domestic and international figure skating events through 2026, both parties announced today.
“This is an exciting day for U.S. Figure Skating,” U.S. Figure Skating President Sam Auxier said. “The opportunity for us to not only continue, but to expand upon our strong relationship with NBCUniversal, the U.S. media home of the Olympic Games, is one that makes complete sense for our organization. Ensuring that domestic and international figure skating events have maximum exposure is a priority to us and this new agreement will have a lasting positive impact on our ability to develop figure skating at every level in the United States.”
Each season during the partnership, NBC Sports Group will present an unprecedented 80+ hours of coverage, including 30+ hours of figure skating coverage on NBC, with an additional 50+ hours airing on NBCSN. In addition, original programming plus encores of NBC and NBCSN figure skating coverage will be presented on the Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA. Coverage will showcase the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, including Skate America, ISU World Championships, ISU Four Continents Championships, the European Championships and the World Team Trophy.
“Figure skating has long captivated the American sports fan as again demonstrated by the audiences that consistently gathered to watch these incredibly talented athletes during the PyeongChang Olympics,” President, NBC Olympics, Gary Zenkel said. “We are excited to continue our partnership with U.S. Figure Skating, and to expand coverage of the sport’s marquee events, increasing year-round exposure of figure skating and speed skating.”
“We have valued our now decade-long relationship with NBC Sports Group and we are extremely happy with this extension,” U.S. Figure Skating Executive Director David Raith said. “Knowing that our goals are aligned with those of our media partner is critical to our future success and to the great exposure for our skaters and the sport for the next eight years.”
Building on U.S. Figure Skating’s current relationship with NBC Sports Group that began with the 2007-08 figure skating season, the U.S. Championships will continue to receive live weekend coverage of all four discipline finals on NBC, including three hours of primetime coverage on the network. In total, NBC will carry 10 hours from the U.S. Championships, including the Skating Spectacular, while NBCSN will provide extensive coverage of the event’s short programs earlier in the week.
With the new agreement between U.S. Figure Skating and NBC Sports Group, U.S. Figure Skating will sell the national commercial media inventory across NBC and NBCSN for the figure skating competitions covered by the agreement.
In addition, as part of the agreement, NBCSN will carry four hours of coverage of ISU Speed Skating and Short Track Speed Skating World Championship events.
More announcements related to digital extensions of the partnership are expected soon, and full programming schedules for both figure skating and speed skating will be announced later this summer.