The 2019 Sport Climbing season kicked-off in Meiringen, Switzerland, last weekend, opening an exciting year of Olympic qualification events as athletes compete head-to-head for the chance to take part in next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Thanks to a number of broadcasting deals secured by the IFSC, spectators across the globe were able to tune into the first Bouldering World Cup of the season.
On top of being streamed live from the IFSC YouTube channel, semi’s and finals were broadcast live via satellite in the USA, Japan and throughout Europe, by NBC Home of Team USA (digital channel), J Sports and Eurosport Player respectively. The Olympic Channel also streamed semi-finals and finals live, catching the first Youth Olympic Sport Climbing gold medallists Sandra Lettner (AUT) and Keita Dohi (JPN) place 11th and 10th in the women’s and men’s competitions.
Sport Climbing secured a Saturday night prime-time spot in the USA on NBC Home of Team USA (linear channel), who broadcast the competition delayed just hours after the finals had finished. Slovenians were able to watch Janja Garnbret (SLO) take the win in the women’s comp by tuning into RTV Slo on Sunday 7th April, with French television channel L’Equipe also broadcasting delayed footage, sharing Fanny Gibert’s (FRA) near-miss of the podium in 4th place. Japanese platform Sports Bull produced a delayed highlight reel, uploaded to the website on Sunday afternoon showcasing the five Japanese athletes who competed in the finals.
The competition gained the attention of national media, with Swiss TV channel SRG broadcasting delayed content during news coverage after Swiss star Petra Klingler placed 5th in the women’s event.
Further coverage is set to follow, with Japanese channel NHK producing a highlight programme of the top action from Meiringen and this weekend’s Bouldering and Speed World Cup events in Moscow, Russia. SkyA will show a highlight programme later in April and international channel TBS are to stream delayed highlights.