altJune 12 - FISA, rowing's governing body, announced today it had signed a rights deal with Europe's public broadcasters to screen the sport's major events until the 2012 London Olympics.


The four-year contract will see the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) screen World Championships, World Cup regattas and regular interviews with athletes and coaches online through a new web-streaming platform.


FISA, said the joint service would be launched before World Cup racing starts on June 21 in Munich, Germany.


Denis Oswald, the President of FISA, said: "We are really pleased to have extended our partnership with the EBU, our long time television partner.


"Such an agreement is important to a sport like rowing as we need to offer our viewers a consistently high-quality standard of production and free-to-view, live access offered by the EBU channels such as BBC, ARD/ZDF, RAI, Eurosport and many others.


"We enjoy excellent relationships with these channels and benefit from their loyal and substantial audiences."


The EBU is an umbrella group of 75 mostly state-owned stations in 56 countries.


Jean Réveillon, the EBU Director General, said: "We are glad to have reached this agreement as we consider rowing a great sport, of high athletic value, which deserves to be widely broadcast.


"Furthermore, notwithstanding the traditional distribution channels, we are going to contribute to the sport's popularity by launching a new web platform which will increase both its audience and better target its fans.


"This is a very interesting evolution of our services."