Lausanne, 29 May 2015

When FISA, the World Rowing Federation, introduced a new television strategy in 2010 it was a test of time to witness its effectiveness. Now, as we approach the second regatta of the 2015 season the European Rowing Championships, statistics from recent seasons compiled by Kantar Sport, FISA’s media-analysis agency, have overwhelmingly proved the value of this strategy.

The strategy saw the inception of World Rowing Productions (WRP) which is a collaboration between FISA and sports production and distribution specialists, Quattro Media from Munich, Germany. Quattro Media have provided much of the expertise to help FISA develop a forward-thinking broadcast strategy as well as deliver improved and more consistent host TV productions. 

"This has led to a far greater amount of coverage and a wider distribution of our programming," says FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland. "The most recent analysis of statistics show that our sport now attracts considerably more live and prime-news television coverage globally, together with reliable commercial exposure for our commercial partners. We are operating in a very competitive environment and can be proud of what has been achieved for our sport." 

Summary of progress and improvements
Increased national television coverage throughout European rights holders via FISA’s long-running partnership with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). This includes the following countries: Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, , Belarus, Lithuania and Eurosport (pan-Europe). 

  • Increased coverage outside of Europe including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil and China.
  • The 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam achieved a total of 173 hours coverage across 77 TV channels worldwide.
  • A free-of-charge news service provided by WRP which is offered to all interested TV channels for all three World Rowing Cup regattas, the World Rowing Championships and the European Rowing Championships. This service has significantly added to the amount of television coverage of rowing globally and has increased the exposure for the national federations whose home athletes are seen more frequently (at prime time) when they achieve podium finishes.
  • News airings have increased four-fold since 2010.
  • A short news summary edited by WRP after each televised racing day, free-of-charge which has allowed reach to almost all parts of the world.
  • An upgraded World Rowing website allowing live-streamed and Video On Demand (free of charge) coverage of all televised races. Viewers in 167 countries watched World Rowing TV on Video-On-Demand in 2014.
  • The "WorldRowingFISA" channel on YouTube is regularly updated with video clips of athlete profiles, short features and topical interviews. In 2014 over 40 unique videos were posted leading to a five-fold increase in views over 2010.
  • A direct and close collaboration between WRP’s own Executive Producer and the host production team of every national broadcaster. This has led to upgraded camera technology and a more consistent focus on the sport for the benefit of the commentators and their audiences.

"With the 2015 rowing season now underway, these results show rowing is reaching a wider audience in a larger number of countries," says Rolland. "This bodes well for our policy of greater universality and shows that rowing is a sport which takes a leading position in innovative communications."

The next televised event on the World Rowing calendar (31 May) is the European Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland. The growing trend in televised rowing continues with Polish television and World Rowing Productions working collaboratively to host-produce this important event.