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British Swimming and the BBC announce new four year rights deal

March 18 2011

British Swimming today announced a four year rights deal with the BBC to broadcast swimming and other aquatic sports in the run up to the 2012 Olympics, the Commonwealth Games 2014 and beyond.

Armchair sports fans will have the chance to see the country’s best athletes as they battle it out for medals.

Coverage over the next year will include: FINA Diving World Series, Sheffield (15/16 April 2011); The LEN European Synchronised Swimming Champions Cup, Sheffield (20-22 May 2011); and The British Gas Swimming Championships (Olympic Trials), Olympic Park, London (3-10 March 2012).

These events and more will be broadcast across the BBC’s platforms including TV, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website.

British Swimming will also be partnering with the BBC to launch the Big Splash, a UK-wide mass-participation campaign, in a bid to get people into the pool.The Big Splash will focus on getting people who swim to have more fun more often and also encourage new people into the pool.

British Swimming and the home countries will be working with the pool industry to offer a range of exciting activities including games for family fun, sessions at local pools to teach you to be a better swimmer and a comprehensive web-based support package.

The BBC will be providing a wide range of on-air initiatives in conjunction with some of its most popular programming brands. Look out for more information on BBC Television, Radio and Online from May or click here to register to learn more.

“The BBC has worked with swimming for many years and we welcome this renewed commitment from them as we follow the journey of our elite athletes to the Games in London and beyond.

Everyone at British Swimming is also extremely excited about the launch of the Big Splash as we try and encourage more people to be more active through swimming.” British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes.

Barbara Slater, Director BBC Sport said: “We have a rich heritage of covering aquatic sports on the BBC and are delighted to be in a position to continue this commitment at what is a key time for the sport with the London 2012 Olympics on the horizon. BBC Sport is also making a further commitment through the Big Splash, which we hope will encourage more people to get swimming across the country.”

Key Facts

  • 1 in 5 Primary School kids cannot swim – nor can around the same number of adults.
  • Swimming is the biggest participation sport in the UK with more than 3m people swimming once a week. 
  • Swimming is the only sport that can save your life. Over 400 people drown in the UK every year and it is the third most common cause of accidental death in children. 
  • There are over 5,000 pools throughout England, offering the opportunity to go swimming to millions of people from every kind of background.
  • Team GB won 6 swimming medals at the Beijing Olympics 
  • The deal covers all discipines but the Big Splash will have a heavy focus on swimming.
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