After the TEN Network was widely criticised for its lack of extensive live coverage of last year’s FINA World Championship, including by this website, in good news for swimming fans, TEN has announced that the 2012 EnergyAustralia Swimming Championships will be broadcast LIVE and EXCLUSIVELY on TEN and ONE from Thursday, March 15 until March 22. The competition this year has an added importance as it also doubles as the London Olympics selection trials.
Live swimming coverage by TEN and ONE is good news for Swimming Australia. After losing its principal sponsorship partner TELSTRA last year, Swimming Australia announced this week a new sponsorship deal with EnergyAustralia. The new deal sees EnergyAustralia enter a five year sponsorship agreement with Swimming Australia to become its new principal partner (replacing Telstra) and as such includes naming rights to the annual Australian Swimming Championships and the Go Swim development program. Extensive live coverage of this year’s selection trials across TEN’s primary and secondary channel is no doubt a plus for swimming’s new principal partner EnergyAustralia. Swimming Australia CEO Kevin Neil said,
“We are very excited to welcome EnergyAustralia to the swimming family, just three weeks out from what will be a memorable 2012 EnergyAustralia Swimming Championships in Adelaide (Mar 15-22)…Beyond that, establishing a strong and powerful partnership with EnergyAustralia over the next five years will provide long lasting benefits to the sport of swimming at both the elite and mass participation levels.”
The Championships will see James Magnussen attempt to continue his domination of sprint freestyle swimming ahead of the London Olympics. James was announced earlier in the week as a Samsung brand ambassador. Whilst Samsung is not a Swimming Australia sponsor, Samsung has a relationship with the Australian and International Olympic Committees. Of course Ian Thorpe will also be at the national selection trials in an attempt to qualify for the London Olympics, after coming out of retirement last year.
Whilst broadcast times have not been confirmed to the public yet, in announcing the coverage Ten’s Head of Sport, David Barham said:
“It’s a jam packed schedule of events with more than five hours of live swimming on TEN and more than eight hours of live swimming on ONE [emphasis added].”
With TEN’s loss of the AFL rights, Anthony Hudson has left TEN and signed with FOX FOOTY, meaning he will no longer commentate swimming on TEN & ONE.
Instead joining Nicole Livingstone and Mark Howard in the coverage (these two have also covered the Ironman series for Ten) will be TEN’s Melbourne sports reader and former TEN AFL commentator Stephen Quartermain.
Whilst there is disappointment from last year’s coverage of the FINA World Championship on ONE, promised LIVE coverage of the Championship is a big plus that will excite many fans of swimming nationwide.
Check out Ten’s promo for its coverage here.