The BBC is to follow the fortunes of Britain’s top skeleton athletes during the 2014/15 season after signing a deal to become the official broadcast partner of British Bobsleigh & Skeleton (BBSA).
Following an outstanding season last year, which saw Lizzy Yarnold win Olympic gold for Team GB in Sochi, as well as claim the overall Skeleton World Cup title, BBC viewers will now able to watch the world’s top athletes in action throughout the forthcoming season, including a mixture of live coverage and highlights programming.
BBC Sport screened highlights of last season’s FIBT Skeleton World Cup series via the red button for the first time in its history, which formed part of its build-up to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, where more than five million people watched Yarnold’s gold medal triumph at the Sanki Sliding Center on BBC One back in February.
This year’s TV deal with the BBSA will see further enhancements to the BBC’s coverage of Great Britain’s most successful winter sport of the past decade.
There will be extensive coverage of each of the European rounds of the Skeleton World Cup tour, with live streaming of the events via the BBC Sport website, starting at the third leg of the series in Altenberg, Germany, on January 9-10.
Highlights of the European events on the World Cup circuit will be shown on TV via BBC Red Button on Sunday evenings, following the broadcast of BBC Two’s long-running winter sports series Ski Sunday, which returns for the 2015 season in January.
There will also be live coverage of the FIBT Bob & Skeleton World Championships 2015 in Winterberg, Germany, which will be shown via the BBC Red Button, while an extended highlights programme of the event will air shortly afterwards on BBC Two.
There will also be text and video coverage of both the World Cup and World Championships on the BBC Sport website, which now has up to 20 million unique users each week.
Commenting on the new BBC deal, BBSA commercial director, David Henwood said: “We are delighted the BBC has decided to back the new BBSA and agreed to continue its broadcast partnership with both British bobsleigh and skeleton.
“We are also so pleased our key commercial partners have decided to continue their loyal support to Pyeongchang 2018. This strong backing off the ice means so much to our athletes, and means they can focus 100% on their performances.”
Skeleton has been Great Britain’s most successful sport over the last four Winter Olympics, with Lizzy Yarnold’s Sochi triumph being preceded by Amy Williams’s gold in Vancouver four years ago, while Shelley Rudman claimed silver in Turin back in 2006 and Alex Coomber bronze at Salt Lake City 2002.
Skeleton and bobsleigh in the UK fans can follow full live action from the FIBT World Cup events online this season via the bobskeleTV online stream, available via www.fibt.com and on YouTube, starting with opening round in Lake Placid, USA, on December 12-13.
Previously skeleton and bobsleigh events were covered by British Eurosport, but this deal came to end after the 2012/13 season, after the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation decided to change its focus and instead provide its own coverage online.
British Eurosport is the UK home to a plethora of other top winter sports events throughout the season, including alpine skiing, ski jumping, biathlon, figure skating, freestyle skiing and luge.
For more information, visit the official British Skeleton website – britishskeleton.co.uk.
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