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France Televisions and ACO announce the renewal of their long standing partnership for 24 Hours of Le Mans

4 min read

Brokered by Infront, free-to-air coverage of the most iconic motorsport event on Earth is guaranteed in France from 2017 to 2020

Paris, France & Zug, Switzerland – A renewal of the long-standing partnership between The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and France Télévisions, the French public broadcaster, was announced last week, ensuring free-to-air coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France for the next four editions from 2017 until 2020. The agreement was brokered by Infront Sports & Media, a Wanda Sports company, the exclusive media rights partner of ACO and the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC).

Full race coverage

Organised by ACO, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is held annually at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans in France. One of sport’s greatest tests of endurance is witnessed year after year by millions of fans around the world and 2016’s edition once again provided viewers with the most incredible sportive drama. 2017’s race, the 85th edition, runs between 17 and 18 June, starting at 3:00pm (CEST).

The renewed agreement provides extensive live coverage of the race on France Télévisions’ main channels France 2 and France 3 (and simultaneously on France Télévisions’ digital platform francetvsport), with more than 15 hours of live broadcast, together with regular highlights and news updates before, during and after the race across all platforms of France Télévisions.

For the first time ever, an additional six hours of live overnight coverage will be provided on France 3 - from midnight until 6am the following morning.

In addition, news highlights will be offered on France Télévisions’ news channel ‘franceinfo’ throughout the race. Further race updates will also be aired all week-end long during the Sport magazines Tout le Sport on France 3 and Stade 2 on France 2.

Sports-car racing at its best for 85 years

Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “We are delighted about the renewal of our partnership with France Télévisions to broadcast the 24 Hours of Le Mans on free-to-air channels for the next four years. France Télévisions is a long-standing partner and it is very rewarding to know that our iconic race is receiving such extensive coverage on the channels of France’s leading audiovisual group. To keep our partners and endurance racing fans satisfied, we work hard to develop our TV audience in France, Europe and in the rest of the world. The renewal of this agreement reasserts our commitment and confirms the status of our event and its appeal to TV channels.”

Laurent-Eric Le Lay, Head of Sports at France Télévisions: "We are proud to embark on another four years for our long-standing partnership with ACO for the free-to-air broadcasting of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, one of the biggest highlights on the motor racing calendar. This iconic race remains a major feature in the vast catalogue of events broadcast by France Télévisions’ channels and digital platforms. From this year on, we will be devoting much more air time to the race and we will enhance our coverage of the event via our digital outlets and the new formats devised for social media."

Stephan Herth, Executive Director Summer Sports at Infront: “We are pleased that France Télévisions - as a trusted and knowledgeable partner for this iconic event - will continue to bring the 24 Hours of Le Mans to the largest audience possible in France. This is a major milestone in our partnership with ACO & FIA WEC and we are confident that this agreement will help to keep growing the profile of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, rightly regarded as one of the greatest spectacles in sport.”

About The Automobile Club de l’Ouest

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) founded in 1906 is the creator and organiser of major motor sporting events including the first grand prix in the history of motor racing in 1906 followed by the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1923. The ACO’s aim is to develop long-distance racing and since 2012 it has been the organiser and promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC). The club is also the creator of the continental series: the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, former American Le Mans Series (1999), the European Le Mans Series (2004), and the Asian Le Mans Series (2013). On its own circuits at Le Mans, the ACO organises the 24 Heures Motos, the 24 Heures Karting, the 24 Heures Camions and the French Motorcycle Grand Prix.But above all the ACO is a club made up of enthusiasts who defend the rights of car users on a daily basis, and it gives its members a privileged welcome to enable them to live their passion for motor sport at the events it organises.The ACO also has a driving school, Le Mans Driver, a leisure and kart competition complex and simulators, an Enterprise department for the organisation of seminars, a team of guides providing tours of the installations of the Le Mans circuits, two official boutiques in Le Mans and Paris as well as eight regional agencies.

About France Télévisions

France Télévisions is France’s leading audiovisual group with five national channels – France 2, France 3, France 4, France 5 and France Ô – regional and overseas networks, the France 3 regional channels and its worldwide 24-hour news media offering with franceinfo. It provides the country’s most comprehensive TV programming, reaching more than 50% of French viewers every day. Its channels all have their own distinct identity, offering a full range of programmes so that there is always something for everyone, on every type of screen.With close to 1,830 hours of sport broadcast on its national channels in 2016, France Télévisions is clearly the ‘biggest free-to-air sports arena’ on the media landscape.

About Infront Sports & Media

Infront Sports & Media, a Wanda Sports company, is one of the most respected sports marketing companies in the world, managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production, event operation and digital solutions – and has won a reputation for its high standards of delivery. As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football, summer and endurance sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with close to 170 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 900 experienced staff working from over 35 offices across more than 15 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In November 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Holding, part of the Chinese conglomerate the Dalian Wanda Group.

About Wanda Sports

Wanda Sports is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Led by President & Vice Chairman Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.