Soon all sailboat racing enthusiasts will see their wishes come true
as the America’s Cup will finally be broadcast on network television for the first time since 1992. It all happens next year when NBC broadcasts the first two races of sailing’s top prize on San Francisco Bay in September 2013.
In an AP article, it was reported that:
Officials told the Associated Press that the deal with the NBC Sports Group also includes three broadcasts on NBC this year from the America’s Cup World Series. The remaining races in the America’s Cup match will be on cable, on NBC Sports Network.
The deal is big for regatta organizers, who hope to showcase the modernized America’s Cup racing to mainstream fans. Racing will be on a short course close to shore rather than miles out to sea, and in fast, wing-sail catamarans rather than plodding sloops.
The NBC Sports Group also acquired rights to the Louis Vuitton Cup in the summer of 2013 in San Francisco, which will determine which foreign syndicate meets Oracle Racing, owned by Silicon Valley maverick Larry Ellison, for the oldest trophy in international sports.
Richard Worth, chairman of the America’s Cup Event Authority, said NBC will televise the final day of racing from three stops on the America’s Cup World Series this summer, as well as the opening two races of the 34th America’s Cup match on Sept. 7 and 8, 2013.
NBC Sports Group is not paying a rights fee. Worth said America’s Cup officials will acquire airtime and offer commercial time first to their own sponsors.
18/02/2012 – San Francisco (USA) – ORACLE Racing – Training.
A Fair Race?
Of course there’s plenty of folks out there who feel that the race isn’t like it used to be before the big cats came on board. But organizers believe they’ve largely avoided the potential problem of weather-related delays that could easily mess up broadcast schedules by switching to catamarans that can sail in a wide range of conditions. Races have been shortened to better fit into TV time slots and will be sailed close to shore.
The ACWS is being contested in 45-foot catamarans with high-tech wings as mainsails. The Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup match will be sailed in 72-foot cats.
The first NBC broadcast is scheduled for July 1, the final day of the America’s Cup World Series in Newport, R.I. The other dates on NBC are Aug. 26 and Oct. 7, so America’s Cup organizers will fit events to those slots. Organizers are exploring having an ACWS stop on the Hudson River in New York, which would end on Aug. 26. If that’s not possible, there would be ACWS stops in San Francisco ending with televised races on Aug. 26 and Oct. 7.
Whether it’s in New York or San Francisco, the regatta ending on Aug. 26 will feature Ben Ainslie’s debut with Oracle Racing. The star British sailor, who will be trying for a fourth straight gold medal in the London Olympics, will join Oracle Racing to gain experience for what he hopes will be a title challenge with his own team in the future.
Each boat will carry an HD camera and 14 microphones. America’s Cup officials have developed a system called LiveLine that will insert graphics into live shots from helicopters. Lines similar to the yellow first-down line used in football broadcasts will be used to show which boat is ahead, distance to the marks and course boundaries.
(Originally published March 1, 2012)
By The Associated Press BERNIE WILSON (AP Sports Writer)