Phenomenal interest in the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ is being shown by global television companies in key New Zealand tourism markets, with anticipated widespread international coverage of snow sports and curling events which will showcase some of the world’s best athletes performing in the country’s spectacular Southern Alps region.
Winter Games NZ CEO Arthur Klap said the Games’ partnership with leading international sports marketing company, Infront Sports & Media, had led to a marked upsurge in interest from key international broadcasters.
“The take-up is way ahead of previous years particularly from broadcasters who have the rights already to show FIS World Cups. They include Eurosport, BBC, USA’s Universal Sports, China’s CCTV, TV Tokyo, Germany’s public broadcasting company ARD, ESPN Sur representing Latin and South America and South Korea’s SBS.”
Other countries who have signed up for the New Zealand filmed footage, which will be shown ‘as live’, include Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland.
Some of the international rights holders, along with others from the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Poland, Slovenia and Taiwan will also show a magazine programme of all the World Cups put together by the International Ski Federation (FIS).
“The programme will start screening worldwide in November and the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ freestyle and snowboard events will be broadcast in December,” said Klap. “Some of the bigger broadcasters who have already taken and screened our footage will also show the magazine programme so it’s really a double whammy. In addition to this we are able to live web stream the freeskiing and snowboard Big Air internationally, because it is a stand-alone event and there are no restrictions surrounding it.”
Many of the countries indicating they will feature the Games on television are New Zealand’s target tourism markets.
“This again reflects the importance of the event to New Zealand as a whole,” said Klap. “We have worked closely with Tourism New Zealand to achieve this and Australia’s Nine Wide World of Sports which has 300,000 viewers and over one million online viewers, together with TV Tokyo, have confirmed their presence.”
In New Zealand there will be free to air domestic coverage of Winter Games NZ on TV3 with two-hour ‘as live’ broadcasts of FIS World Cup slopestyle and halfpipe finals for both snowboard and freeski from 12.30-2.30pm and 10.30pm-12.30am on the key weekend dates of August 22, 23, 29 and 30. A highlights programme will screen from 1.00-2.00pm on September 6.
Radio coverage will be broadcast through the Mediaworks nationwide network and livestreaming on the internet will feature snowboarding and freeskiing World Cup qualifying rounds and finals as well as the Big Air finals at Cardrona Alpine Resort.
Klap is particularly excited at the prospect of livestreaming the Mixed Doubles curling from the Maniototo Curling International Rink at Naseby.
“There will be live streaming of both the semi-finals and the finals on August 27 which will be of major interest around the world because the sport has recently been included in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.”
Daily video news releases of all the Games events will go out internationally with the support of Infront and are expected to reach a huge global audience. “Domestic media outlets can access the video news releases on the Winter Games NZ FTP server,” said Klap.
Klap said it is hard to put a figure on the potential viewing audience for the Games. “But suffice to say the reach is extensive and the viewership is likely to be incredibly high. For example Universal Sports alone has 50 million subscribers. At the conclusion of the event Infront will provide us with a detailed evaluation of the media reach of the event which is critical in assisting us in forward planning.”
The Audi quattro Winter Games NZ television, radio and Internet coverage is backed by a comprehensive social media programme and international accredited media hosting.
The Audi quattro Winter Games NZ are New Zealand’s biggest recurring sports event. The fourth biennial Games take place from 21 to 30 August in Queenstown, Lake Wanaka and Naseby. All sports and festival events are free to watch for spectators (ski pass required to access lifts) and will be broadcast free-to-air on TV3 with live streaming on the Games website.