BBC Worldwide secures international rights for Triathlon

LONDON: BBC Worldwide, the commercial consumer arm of the BBC, and the International Triathlon Union (ITU) have signed a deal. For the first time, BBC Worldwide will have full international television distribution rights for all ITU events, including the Triathlon World Cup and Triathlon World Championships.

Each year, BBC Worldwide will distribute a total of sixteen 52-minute edited highlight programmes from competitions held all over the world - including Europe, USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. Live coverage will also be available to broadcasters from some of the venues, including the World Championships, which will take place in New Zealand in December 2003.

BBC Worldwide's Sport Sales Manager, Richard Hornsby-Smith says, "The Triathlon produced some of the most memorable images of the 2000 Sydney Olympics and is one of the fastest-growing modern sports. Adding such a prestigious property to our catalogue underlines BBC Worldwide's commitment to expanding our sports programming portfolio. We are looking forward to a fruitful relationship with the ITU."

Under the terms of the new agreement, the ITU will retain the international broadcast distribution rights for Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Other leading sports events distributed by BBC Worldwide include The London Marathon, The Grand National, Royal Ascot, The University Boat Race and the Rugby League Challenge Cup.

The International Triathlon Union was established in 1989 and within seven years, was awarded full medal status on the Olympic programme. Recognised by the International Olympic Association, the ITU is a member of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). Triathletes must swim 1500 m, then cycle 40 km and finally run 10 km to complete each race.

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