TV Alliance established for Special Olympics World Games

Up to twelve German media houses have founded a TV alliance for the transmission of the Special Olympics World Games in June 2023 in Berlin.

This came about at the instigation of Carsten Schmidt, former boss of the TV broadcaster Sky, the Bundesliga soccer team Hertha BSC and today a member of the Executive Committee of Special Olympics Germany.

Of the 13 media companies that Schmidt contacted, seven on ARD, ZDF, RTL, Sky, Axel Springer, Meta and Deutsche Telekom are already on board to broadcast games played by people with intellectual disabilities.

According to Schmidt, there are advanced talks with ProSiebenSat.1, Sport1, Amazon, DAZN and ServusTV. Eurosport did not participate for budget reasons.

Your participation is a “self-evident”, said ARD sports coordinator Axel Balkausky and ZDF sports director Thomas Fuhrmann. “The media alliance even manages to bring the public service and Axel Springer together. That shows how extraordinary that is,” said Matthias Brügelmann, head of sports at “Bild”.

Anticipation for Berlin 2023

Despite the inclusive approach and noble idea, the media companies also want to write a success story. And they are still competitors when it comes to the part they produce themselves.

“We don’t see what we invest in the rights package as a donation. It’s an investment,” Brügelmann clarified. “We’re finding that doing things for a good cause doesn’t have to be at the expense of the ratings,” explained Mirijam Trunk, who is responsible for cross-media at RTL.

Sky sports director Charly Claassen said he “hopes very much that we all push ourselves with healthy ambition”. Balkausky emphasized: “Everyone should have the ambition for the best story. But this time it’s not about extending your elbows.”

ZDF sports director Fuhrmann pointed out “that the finals and the European Championships have shown what enthusiasm multi-sport events can trigger”.

In terms of participating athletes and sports, the Berlin Games will be the largest sporting event on German soil since the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. From June 16th to 25th, over 7000 athletes will be there in 26 sports.

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