ESPN360.COM TO AIR 21st IHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN U.S.A.
SALT LAKE CITY - USA Team Handball has reached an agreement with ESPN360.com to provide live broadband coverage of seven matches live from the 21st International Handball Federation World Championship, which began Jan. 16 in Croatia. These broadcasts represent the first-ever live distribution of the IHF's signature event in the United States.
Beginning with the Main Round on Jan. 24, ESPN360.com will carry one to two games live daily from Zagreb on Jan. 24, 25, 26 and 30 - culminating with the Final on Feb. 1 at 11:30 a.m. (EST). Broadcasts will be live and commercial-free, and feature English-language commentary. The final schedule is contingent upon the pending contract signing between USA Team Handball and ESPN360.
"Following the overwhelming positive response to handball on television from Beijing, we felt it was imperative to deliver world-class handball again to the U.S. audience," said USA Team Handball General Manager Steve Pastorino. "Thanks largely to the partnership with the global company Grundfos, these broadcasts on ESPN360.com will complement daily coverage of the tournament at www.USATeamHandball.org."
USA Team Handball's daily coverage of the 21st IHF World Championship is sponsored by Grundfos Pumps, part of the Grundfos Group, a global pumps and pumping systems leader serving the residential, commercial building and process industry markets. The Grundfos Group, a supporter of handball worldwide, is a long-time partner of the IHF and official sponsor of title competitions such as the 2007 IHF World Championships in Germany and France as well as the championships in Croatia and China this year.
The tournament began Jan. 16 with a preliminary round of matches. ESPN360.com's slate of broadcasts will begin with the Main Round at the new Zagreb Arena and likely feature defending Olympic champions France, the host country Croatia, and strong European entries from Hungary, Spain, Sweden, Romania and Slovakia. Non-European countries with an opportunity to play in Zagreb's Main Round matches include Pan American representatives Argentina and Cuba as well as Australia, the lone English-speaking representative in the competition. Defending champion Germany may make its ESPN360.com debut during the semifinals.
ESPN360.com is ESPN's signature broadband sports network, giving fans a 24/7 online destination delivering more than 3,000 live, global sports events annually. The service is free to U.S. fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider. It is currently available in nearly 25 million homes nationwide via more than 45 Internet service providers nationwide, up 40 percent in the past 12 months and more than triple its distribution just 2 years ago. Among the affiliated ISPs are AT&T, Verizon, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and many more. In addition, ESPN360.com is also available at no cost to approximately 18 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks (those with ".edu" and ".mil" domains). Consumers wanting more information about ESPN360.com, which Internet services currently provide it, and how they can get it should go to http://www.espn360.com/.
ESPN360.COM BROADCAST SCHEDULE OF THE IHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Subject to change
Jan. 24: Quarterfinal Match 3A vs 1B; 12:30m (EST)
Jan. 24: Quarterfinal Match 1A vs 2B; 2:30pm (EST)
Jan. 25: Quarterfinal match 1B vs 2A; 10:30am (EST)
Jan. 26: Quarterfinal match 1A vs 1B; 2:30pm (EST)
Jan. 30: Semifinal 1: 11:30am (EST)
Jan. 30: Semifinal 2: 2:30pm (EST)
Feb. 1: Final: 11:30am (EST)
Grundfos Pumps Corporation, part of the Grundfos Group, is a global pumps and pumping systems leader serving the residential, commercial building and process industry markets, as well as being a major supplier to the water supply and water treatment industries. Grundfos is known for advanced products, technology and brands including: Peerless, PACO, Alldos, Hilge and Yoemans. Producing over 10 million pumps each year, Grundfos strives to improve reliability and energy savings, and to exceed customer needs wherever water moves. Grundfos is focused on innovative, sustainable solutions while maintaining the highest ethical standards. Founded in 1945 in Bjerringbro, Denmark, the Grundfos Group is a worldwide enterprise that employs more than 16,000 people in 67 countries with North American headquarters in Olathe, KS. Grundfos Pumps can be visited on the web at http://www.grundfos.us/.
ABOUT USA TEAM HANDBALL
USA Team Handball, a 501-c-3 corporation headquartered in Salt Lake City, was certified by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) on April 30, 2008. The federation's board of directors is chaired by President Dieter Esch. Its jurisdiction includes development of grass roots programs, preparation of national teams and day-to-day oversight of the sport of Team Handball throughout the United States. USA Team Handball is the only organization recognized by the USOC and IHF to lead handball initiatives in the United States. Visit the federation at http://www.usateamhandball.org/.