A significant policy change this year by the IWSF has brought the new Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup to highly populated downtown locations. Over 20,000 spectators watched the first Stop in France on June 19th/20th. Top Ranked Waterskiers from 17 Nations have now lined up for the next Stop in Dubna, Russia on July 24th / 25th. The total cash prize for the series is $US 650,000.

The International Waterski Federation has just announced an aggressive Worldwide media plan for 2004. It will run it’s own TV production and Press Release distribution systems for all seven Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup Stops. The objective is to maximize it’s viewer and Press readership numbers annually over the coming five years through free distribution worldwide – in a planned manner. All programming produced by the IWSF is now available on a no-fee basis. Exclusive deals may be arranged in some territories. The Press Releases have been targeted at important Sports Editors around the World.

This high visibility strategy has five critical TV elements – TV News Distribution, TV Magazine Shows, Host Broadcaster Arrangements, Own Distribution and Live Feed Projects. It also has a tightly managed sophisticated worldwide Press Release agreement in place.

Working in partnership with Eurovision-EBU, short 3 minute News items via satellite feed from each Stop will focus on the audiences of the EBU, ABU (Asia), ASBU (North Africa & Middle East), URTNA (Africa) – plus TV partners in North and South America. This network alone covers over 300 TV operations reaching 50% of the World’s total TV audience. In addition to this, access will be given to Reuters with 400 TV Network subscribers reaching in excess of 1,000 TV affiliates in 95 countries. The potential impact can be assessed by the fact that IWSF News items for each of this year’s seven Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup Stops will be recorded in 1500 News Rooms. These are available for Sports Bulletins, News Bulletins and Libraries.

A production and distribution agreement has just been concluded with Pro Active UK. This guarantees 26 minutes of TV airtime for each Stop in 2004 in the magazine TV show Watersports World / Hot Water with it’s audience of 5 million viewers. This is shown on Sky Sports (UK & Ireland), Sky Italy, Foxsports Australia, Foxsports South America, Foxsports Middle East, Foxsports Eastern Europe, ESPN-Star (China, South Korea, Taiwan, North Korea, Myanmar, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines,Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Macau, and Mongolia ), and Mnet Supersport International / CSN Africa. The IWSF also has concluded an agreement with Eurosport News.

In 2004, based on current arrangements and agreements., the Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup tracks will generate in excess of 500 million contacts – 100 million through TV Shows and 400 million through News Bulletins. Approximately 80,000 targeted Press Releases will be issued to 2650 Sports Editors worldwide through an extensive agreement with Sportcal.com in the UK.

With this extensive media machinery now in place, the remaining Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup Stops in Russia, UK, Singapore, USA, China and Qatar will receive their fair share of the spotlight in 2004.

Details of the IWSF Television & Press Access Programme are available on www.iwsf.com in the Media section of the Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup pages.

For more details contact: Des Burke-Kennedy, Media Chairman, International Waterski Federation