North Carolina Freestyle Kayaking Event to Reach 100 Million US TV Households

The following is a press release from Gibson Communications.

“The International Canoe Federation’s (ICF) freestyle kayaking world championship competition, held last September at Nantahala Outdoor Center’s Nantahala River campus, begins a month-long national television run on May 4. The broadcast will expose millions to the fast-growing sport of freestyle kayaking and to the compelling natural resources the North Carolina Smokies and Swain County. Fox Sports Net National will carry the event on 14 regional sports networks and additional affiliate networks, reaching 100 million TV households in the first run and a cumulative total of more than 450 million TV households including repeat airings.

The hour-long broadcast includes exciting competition footage and interviews with kayaking’s biggest stars, including Dane Jackson, Eric Jackson, Claire O’Hara, Peter Csonka, James Bebbington, Jez Jezz and others. The event, which boasted 178 athletes from 30 different countries, drew 30,000 spectators to the Swain County, NC competition site and over 50,000 viewers on the event’s live stream making it “the biggest freestyle event ever held” according to Lluis Rabaneda Caselles, Chairman of the ICF Freestyle Committee.

“This event was an important victory for Freestyle Kayaking, USA Canoe/Kayak and for Western North Carolina,” said NOC Chief Executive Officer Sutton Bacon. “We proved that freestyle competition can be as spectator-friendly as figure skating or snowboarding, and we proved that Western North Carolina has the natural resources and organizational strength to host world-class athletic events.”

Event organizers hope to introduce millions of Americans to paddlesports competition, which is wildly popular in Europe. Charles Conner, marketing director for NOC—the nation’s largest whitewater outfitter, commented that “Freestyle kayaking, and all forms of whitewater paddling, provide accessible, healthy, human-powered recreational activities in beautiful river environments. We hope this broadcast motivates viewers to participate in paddling, and we know that the worlds top paddling athletes will entertain and impress anyone who sees the competition.”

After the event’s initial run on Fox Sports Net National the event will enter syndication on regional television broadcasts.”