Zürich takes centre stage for 2014 European Athletics Championships this week


The Letzigrund stadium plays host to the Zürich 2014 European Athletics Championships 12-17 August. Copyright: European Athletics

The 22nd European Athletics Championships in Zürich this week (August 12-17) is expected to cross the milestone of 1,000 hours of live television coverage, with 35 international broadcasters from across Europe planning to televise the biggest athletics event of the year. Host broadcaster is Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR) and broadcasters taking the feed include BBC UK, NRK Norway, France Télévisions, NOS Netherlands, YLE Finland, RAI Italy, ARD and ZDF in Germany, TV4 Sweden and TVP Poland.

Pan-European channel Eurosport plans to show the majority of the championships live across its 59 territories. Outside Europe, the event is being broadcast by Eurosport Asia.

European Athletics president Hansjörg Wirz said, “To have more than 1,000 hours of intended live coverage of the Zurich 2014 European Athletics Championships shows that the sport of athletics remains an attractive product for television audiences in Europe.

“We are very pleased that in cooperation with the EBU we are able to showcase the best of European Athletics with them providing the biggest platform to promote our sport on public free-to-air TV channels throughout the continent.”

At the previous six-day European Athletics Championships in Barcelona in 2010, a total television audience of 368 million watched the action unfold. Seventy-six sports broadcasters produced 1,583 hours of coverage.

The entire event will also be streamed live with English-language commentary at www.european-athletics.org, with nine additional feeds available at https://eurovision.digotel.com/ea/index.html. This service will not be available in France and Germany. The live streaming platform is produced in partnership with European Athletics International Partner SPAR and EBU-Eurovision.

The European Athletics Championships is the biggest event in the European Athletics’ competition programme. A total of 1,439 athletes from all 50 Member Federation countries are entered for this year’s event in Zurich – 788 men and 651 women.

At a stadium that was redeveloped primarily for athletics but staged matches in football’s European Championships in 2008, the track is one of the most sophisticated in the world. It has been raised by eight millimetres to 22 millimetres, giving athletes the best possible opportunity of running faster than ever.

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