Athletics: European athletics expects big viewer boost for 2018 event

Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:37am EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - The sport of athletics will witness a 20 percent rise in television viewing figures at the first multi-sports European Championships in 2018, the continent's athletics chief Svein Arne Hansen said on Friday.

The new European Championships will combine the separate continental championships of seven sports into one event, hoping to become the top multi-sports competition in Europe ahead of the struggling European Games.

"We have a very clear purpose. To get more people interested in sports. For athletics we expect 20 percent more viewers (than at the traditional single-sport European athletics championships)," Hansen, European athletics association president, told Reuters in an interview.

"We also expect better ticket sales in the stadium."

Federations are shareholders and co-organizers of the event, rather than invited participants as in the Olympic Games which are controlled by the International Olympic Committee.

That means pooling resources among the seven sports, keeping costs low and aiming for a bigger share of potential profits for the federations.

Glasgow and Berlin will host the first edition, with the Scottish city staging six sports, swimming, cycling, rowing, triathlon, golf and gymnastics, and the German capital organizing the athletics competition.