The China Open, an International Climbing Series event and the final international IFSC competition of the 2018 season, was broadcast live by China Central Television (CCTV). Selected by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), a crew from CCTV will produce the Sport Climbing television broadcast on behalf of OBS in the sport's 2020 Olympic debut. As Sport Climbing is a new sport for both OBS (who produce the live television, radio and digital coverage of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) and CCTV, the two will collaborate with the IFSC in preparing for the Tokyo 2020 broadcasting of our sport. OBS Coordinating Producer Haiwei Bobby Wang, Project Manager for Tokyo 2020 Sport Climbing events, was therefore also present in Guangzhou, as well as IFSC Consultant Steven Morris (Director Europe of Broadreach Media).
IFSC directors discussed the characteristics of Sport Climbing with CCTV and OBS, also exchanging over technical aspects and developing innovative ways to showcase our sport, ensuring that the 2020 Olympic footage displays our sport in its finest light.
“I was delighted to meet the CCTV crew responsible for producing our Olympic events,” declared IFSC Head of Olympic Coordination Jérôme Meyer. “They put on a great production at the China Open with minimal guidance, demonstrating their professionalism and promising a fantastic show for the Tokyo Games. From now until 2020, we’ll be working closely with CCTV and OBS to develop new and exciting ways to broadcast our sport to the world.”
IFSC President Marco Scolaris and IFSC Consultant & Director Europe of Broadreach Media Steven Morris with members of the CCTV crew.
Inside the CCTV broadcast cabin at the China Open.
CCTV were accredited to film at the 2018 IFSC World Cups in both Wujiang and Xiamen, allowing the team to gain experience in filming Sport Climbing ahead of the China Open. The broadcasters plan to further their knowledge of shooting our sport by getting involved with a number of IFSC events in the run up to 2020. The IFSC will work alongside CCTV and OBS in 2019 to educate the broadcasters in both the competition rules and best practises in broadcasting our sport.
Whilst in Guangzhou, President Scolaris and the aforementioned IFSC directors met with IFSC partner KAILAS, where a strong bond between the climbing brand and the IFSC was further established. KAILAS is widely recognised across China as the most innovative and technical outdoor company, and is one of the IFSC’s main partners (apparel, ropes and safety gear). Since forming a partnership in 2013, the IFSC has noted multiple common values with KAILAS including accessible, healthy and educational activity for the younger generation and equality for men and women in Sport Climbing.
“KAILAS shares the IFSC’s desire to develop our sport amongst a youthful and ‘urban’ audience. Meeting with our partner at their Guangzhou headquarters demonstrated that they are the perfect companion to join Sport Climbing on its journey to Tokyo 2020,” stated President Scolaris.
IFSC Marketing & Communications Director Anne Fuynel and Director Europe of Broadreach Media Steven Morris also spent a day in Beijing, taking the opportunity to meet with broadcasters CCTV, Tencent and Beijing TV to discuss future broadcasting opportunities for Sport Climbing in China. Connecting with Chinese broadcasters will support the IFSC and Chinese Mountaineering Association (CMA) in introducing our sport to a wider network in China.
“With only a small percentage of the Chinese population participating in Sport Climbing, there is a great potential for developing the sport in China,” said Marketing & Communications Director Anne Fuynel. “There’s a vast market that we and the CMA are yet to tap in to, though we’re thrilled to see that the interest in our sport is beginning to increase.”
IFSC President Marco Scolaris met with CMA President M. Li Zhixin and Li Guowei, responsible for Sport Climbing within the CMA, to review the progression of the sport in China. The federations agreed to collaborate on a strategic plan to benefit Sport Climbing in China over the coming years, raising awareness and educating the Chinese population about the sport. Both the CMA and IFSC identified the 2020 Olympic broadcasting by CCTV as a huge advantage for Sport Climbing in China, creating a greater level of exposure for our sport than is currently seen within the country.
“The IFSC and CMA share a mutual goal of ensuring that Chinese athletes are presented with the greatest opportunities to progress in Sport Climbing,” reported President Scolaris. “By working together, we can and we will achieve this goal. The future of Sport Climbing in China is bright.”