Grand National and London Marathon coming to subscribers around the world
The Global BBC iPlayer has secured the rights to two more iconic sporting events from the UK – John Smith’s Grand National and the Virgin London Marathon. The news follows the announcement this week of The Xchanging Boat Race as the first ever sporting event for the pilot VOD service.
In April 2012, coverage of both will be made available to international subscribers within days of their original broadcast in the UK. The world’s greatest steeplechase will take place at Aintree Racecourse this Saturday 14th April, while London will host the elite marathon runners from around the globe on 22nd April.
Matthew Littleford, General Manager, Global BBC iPlayer said: “Our subscribers wanted iconic British sport, and here they have it. The Grand National and London Marathon are packed with action, heritage and some of the sporting year’s biggest talking points, and I’m glad that we can bring them to our users around the world.”
Racecourse Media Group (RMG) manages the broadcast rights for Aintree and 32 other racecourses in the UK. Director of Business Development, Simon Brydon, said, “The John Smith’s Grand National is without doubt the most famous horserace in the world, and we’re delighted the race’s breathtaking action will have another shop window via the Global BBC iPlayer.”
David Bedford, Joint Race Director of the Virgin London Marathon said, “I’m happy that the Virgin London Marathon can be given an even bigger international audience through the Global BBC iPlayer. The Marathon attracts a diverse range of runners, from elite athletes to social runners and celebrities, and this in turn appeals to many, many spectators around the world.”
The internationally renowned contests have for years provided the ultimate tests of speed and endurance across horse racing and athletics, as well as some of the most dramatic moments in sporting history.
On Saturday, the 2012 John Smith’s Grand National will see 40 horses go for glory in the famous handicap chase run over four and half miles and 30 fences. With prize money of £975,000, it is Britain’s richest jump contest by far.
A package of highlights from the race will be available on the Global BBC iPlayer in Australia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg.
The Virgin London Marathon on 22nd April will see Kenyan runners Emmanuel Mutai and Mary Keitany defend their 2011 titles. Both will be striving to qualify for places on their national team for the 2012 Olympics this Summer, as will British runner Lee Merrien.
Coverage from the Marathon will be available on the Global BBC iPlayer in Australia, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg.
International distribution rights for John Smith’s Grand National and the Virgin London Marathon are held by BBC Worldwide.
For further information, please contact:
Communications, BBC Worldwide Channels and Global BBC iPlayer
Tel: +44 (0)2084332603
ABOUT BBC WORLDWIDE
BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has five core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, Consumer Products, Brands, Consumers & New Ventures, with digital ventures incorporated into each business area. In 2010/11, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £160 million on sales of £1158 million and returned £182m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website: www.bbcworldwide.com/annualreview.
ABOUT RACECOURSE MEDIA GROUP
Racecourse Media Group Ltd (RMG) is the umbrella organisation for the 33 Racecourses, which holds their interest in Racing UK, Turf TV and GBI Racing. For more information go to www.racecoursemediagroup.com.
Our subscribers wanted iconic British sport, and here they have it. The Grand National and London Marathon are packed with action, heritage and some of the sporting year’s biggest talking points, and I’m glad that we can bring them to our users around the world.”