Universal Sports in the Pool with FINA Pact

FINA and Universal Sports Network have inked a new multiyear, multiplatform rights for key aquatics sports championships through 2021.

The pact, financial terms of which were not disclosed, gives Universal Sports exclusive Stateside TV and Internet rights to the upcoming editions of the FINA World Championships: 2015 in Kazan, Russia, 2017 in Guadalajara, Mexico, 2019 in Gwangju, Korea and 2021 in Budapest, Hungary.

The deal with the international governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming also includes rights to the FINA World Swimming Championships (short course) in 2016, 2018 and 2020 from Windsor, Canada; the FINA Diving World Cups from Shanghai, China in 2014 and 2016 and from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2018 and 2020; and FINA Synchronized World Cups in 2014 (Quebec City, Canada) and 2018.

“This long-term commitment from FINA solidifies Universal Sports as the premier destination in the USA for aquatic sports through 2021,” said Robert James, Universal Sports vice president of programming and acquisitions, in announcing the agreement. “As future American and International swimming stars rise in prominence, Universal Sports will bring the competition to life with unprecedented, in-depth, primetime coverage delivering hundreds of hours of international aquatics event programming right into the homes and hands of our viewers.”

“The success, prestige and exposure of our major events are directly linked with FINA’s association with TV networks worldwide”, noted FINA president Dr. Julio Maglione. “The United States is a very important market for FINA and many of our greatest stars come from this country. This emphasizes the added-value of this agreement with Universal Sports in the U.S. territory; its multiplatform approach is also of paramount importance to highlight the performances of our best athletes to the widest possible audience”.