WCF Board commits to expanding its live curling broadcast offering

  • WCTV crew working at the World Men's Curling Championship 2016 Photo: WCF / Céline Stucki

The World Curling Federation (WCF) at its recent Board meetings held in Basel, Switzerland committed to developing its existing broadcast partnerships with the USA Curling Association (USCA) and Curling Champions Tour (CCT), to deliver more high-quality TV coverage of the sport to its supporters.

The WCF along with the USCA will once again broadcast the highly successful Curling Night in America on NBCSN during each of the next two seasons – 2016/17 and 2017/18.

The 2015 event saw more than 40 hours of television delivered on the NBCSN channel. Record breaking audiences viewed the nine-episode, made for TV curling event, demonstrating the attractiveness of the sport to the viewing US population.

The Board also agreed to expand WCTV’s work with the Champions Curling Tour, following on from a successful broadcast of the Stockholm Ladies Cup in September 2015. In partnership with the CCT the WCF will make four CCT events available to broadcasters worldwide and on its YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/worldcurlingtv – during season 2016/17. Work will begin soon to identify which events will be covered.

These commitments are part of the WCF’s ambition to produce high-quality TV programming in the lead up to the next Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February 2018.

WCF President, Kate Caithness, said “We are determined to deliver a range of top-class curling broadcasts to as wide an audience as possible in the build up to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. There is a growing desire from our Member Associations and supporters to see more TV coverage of curling championships and these commitments are a priority.”

Rick Patzke, CEO USA Curling Association, said: “Wide-spread TV coverage of championship level curling is certainly a proven method for furthering the interest in and development of curling in the United States. It is also crucial that this coverage be of high-quality and delivered in a consistent pattern, such as with this year’s nine-program, Friday night series that ran in the USA from January through March.

“We are pleased to continue our long-running partnership with the WCF and NBC – America’s Olympic network through 2032 – that positively impacts the growth of curling worldwide.“

Armin Harder, CEO Curling Champions Tour, said: “The need to present regular curling on television to an ever growing European audience has become very important. The CCT has been working at this for a number of years with increasing success. We have created a great product that can certainly fill much of the air-time between WCF events like the Europeans and Worlds by showcasing the same top-teams that play in those competitions.

“We are very pleased to now have the WCF as a supporting partner, with their assistance and know-how, which will help the CCT to solidify and improve production and quality over the next few years. This will certainly accelerate the growth of our TV audience and help promote the sport throughout many of the European Member Associations.”

Selected games from the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2016 can be seen live on World Curling TV – www.youtube.com/worldcurlingtv – up to Saturday 23 April.

For more on our latest live world championship visit, www.worldcurling.org/wmdcc2016