MTV, NBC Join Forces on Action Sports Tour

MTV Networks and NBC
Sports are working together to expand the Action Sports Tour, a global,
multimedia, action sports business that includes the AST Dew Tour, AST Winter
Dew Tour and amateur Free Flow Tour. The partnership will expand AST coverage
across MTV and NBC’s multiple screens and platforms, bringing the growing
action sports community ever closer to the action.
NBC Sports created and
launched the Dew Tour in 2005 as the first season-long, nationally televised
competitive tour for action sports. The tour has been growing ever since,
gaining the AST umbrella brand in 2007 and contesting its first international
event in April of 2008.
“When we ended the first
year of the Dew Tour, we knew we really needed a year-round partner who speaks
to this audience every hour of every day,” explained Dick Ebersol, chairman of
NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. “There is no network in the entire
landscape to reach the young in this country that so dominates as MTV does. To
marry lifestyle youth culture with action sports, I think we’ve finally reached
nirvana for the action sports movement.”
NBC Sports will continue
to produce competition coverage and provide network broadcasts around AST
competitions, while MTV and MTV2 will produce complementary programming. In
addition to competition-based content, MTV will add its recognized lifestyle
programming to the Tour, highlighting both established athletes and those up
and coming on the circuit.
“MTV has a long history of
marrying sports and music,” explained Van Tossler, president of MTV Networks
Music & Logo Group. “MTV won its first Emmy for the MTV Sports show in the
1990s, so we knew we were onto something good marrying sports and music. By
joining forces with NBC Sports on the AST, we’ll be giving our audience the
chance to experience a next generation sports tour that covers it all. This
will not be your grandfather’s sports tour.”
MTV will also revamp the website, adding more tools, enhancing community functionality and
putting additional video content onto the platform.
“We will be providing
fresh video content for our users to interact with 24/7,” Tossler said. “We
have grown our own site more than 30 percent year to year with much more video
incorporated into the site, and we hope to do the same with”
The 2007 AST Dew Tour drew
an estimated 41 million domestic viewers to its 33 hours of programming on NBC
Sports and the USA Network, and the MTV/NBC partnership will more than double that
amount of coverage, providing 70 hours of content this year.
In addition to
distribution partnerships with Universal HD, Fuel, Rush HD and, the
summer Dew Tour is available in 23 different languages in more than 100
countries on six continents. The summer Tour will include five summer events,
one per month from June through October, while the winter Tour encompasses
three winter events, on per month from December through February.
“It’s a great adventure in
what I think is the most explosive sport on the American landscape today,”
Ebersol said.

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