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A statement issued tonight by the 37th America’s Cup (AC37) selection committee of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) together with Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) says it intends to extend the timeline for its venue selection. It's a development that opens the door again for the Cork Harbour bid that appeared dead in the water just 24 hours ago.

The full statement reads: 

Following a very close 37th America’s Cup (AC37) Host Venue selection process consisting of three compelling and professional international proposals, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) together with Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), announced today that they are extending the selection period for the shortlisted offshore venues to continue to work through final details and provide further information required for their respective bids.

Opposed to a rushed decision

RNZYS Commodore Aaron Young said: “For the benefit of both the 37th America’s Cup and the eventual host venue, we would rather allow some more time now so we make the right decision as opposed to a rushed decision.”

ETNZ and RNZYS believe it is both prudent and responsible to extend the deadline in which the offshore venues can continue to progress negotiations after Covid lockdown in New Zealand has made it impossible for ETNZ team members to visit the venues. It was originally planned to carry out essential face to face meetings and to provide final team feedback to act on Origin Sports Group’s recommendations.

Grant Dalton, CEO of ETNZGrant Dalton, CEO of ETNZ

ETNZ and RNZYS have had to balance the need for further time to ensure they accept a bid that is in the best interests of the America’s Cup event with the need for Challengers to know the final venue as soon as practicable.

Maintain the event in Auckland

Furthermore, on Wednesday morning, ETNZ and RNZYS received a letter from Mark Dunphy regarding the viability of his funding to maintain the event in Auckland. This extension of the process will also allow Mr Dunphy further time to answer the questions we have already put to him over the past month.

Grant Dalton, CEO of ETNZ, commented:

“The fundamental fact is that we have a number of outstanding potential venues literally going down to the wire and all of them with strong and competitive bids on the table and firmly committed to completing agreements in the coming weeks – that’s a good place to be in for sure. It’s frustrating not to have been able to close our agreement with a Host Venue by the planned date of 17 September as previously proposed but we are now giving ourselves more time to work through the final details of the respective venues as the current COVID situation in New Zealand has made the process more difficult.

As we have always maintained throughout, however unlikely it seemed, Auckland has never been off the table for obvious reasons. So now that we finally have an 11th hour letter from Mr Dunphy, it would be remiss of us not to explore the viability of an Auckland event and if it in fact can be fully and completely funded locally. To date there has been no evidence of this being the case.”

The search for the AC37 Host Venue was started back in May 2020 by Origin Sports Group but was paused for an exclusive three-month period from March 17th, during which the New Zealand Government had the exclusive right to negotiate AC37 being held in New Zealand and continued once this period lapsed.

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With speculation mounting that Ireland increasingly looks like the venue for the 37th America's Cup in Cork Harbour, boosted by some positive Irish Government cost analysis this week, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) and Defender Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) along with the Royal Yacht Squadron Ltd (RYSL) and Challenger of Record INEOS Team UK have announced exciting initiatives to be included as part of the Protocol for the 37th America’s Cup due to be published November 17th.

With the AC75 remaining as the centrepiece of dramatic America’s Cup racing for at least the next two editions, a new class of boat, the one-design AC40 foiling monohull, is being introduced as a new multipurpose class which will help expand pathways into the main event.

The AC40 will be a dynamic, powerful, and super-fast scaled-down version of the AC75 that will see it reach similar speeds to its big sister at times. The intention is for the new class to be the catalyst to accelerate participation in the America’s Cup from the global talent pool of female and youth foiling sailors via separate AC37 Women’s and Youth America’s Cup regattas as part of the overall 37th America’s Cup event schedule at the Host Venue.

RNZYS Commodore Aaron Young said, “Creating pathways and increasing participation for women, youth and emerging nations is something that has been a priority since winning in 2017. In fact, universally it is seen as something that will only benefit everyone in the sport of sailing and was illustrated in the 20 entries, we received to our mixed crew Youth AC that was initially planned for 2021, prior to COVID19.

To now be announcing the AC40’s as the exciting class that will be used by AC teams for their scale testing and development, Match Race training, Preliminary Regattas and then for the Women’s and Youth events makes complete sense.”

Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton explains the detail behind the class and the regattas, “All of the competing teams must purchase at least one AC40 which will be used in the Preliminary Regattas, and then made available for the respective and independent Women’s and Youth regattas to be held at the venue of the AC37 Match.”

“The yacht clubs of competing AC teams must enter both the Women’s and Youth events, however entries will also be open to other countries and yacht clubs.

We would certainly anticipate an entry from the Host country if in fact they do not have an America’s Cup team”.

Furthermore, once the teams AC40’s are delivered by the end of 2022 and early 2023 our hope is that private owners will purchase their own AC40’s as we start to build an exciting and accessible class for the future.”

INEOS Team UK Team Principal Sir Ben Ainslie said, “The America’s Cup has an important role to play in expanding access and inclusion for all athletes into sailing. The Women’s and Youth America’s Cup regattas are an important move forward and a much-needed platform that enables all nations to improve diversity and inclusion in our sport.

We look forward to creating a pathway in Britain that will support both programmes on and off the water, giving our athletes opportunities for success in competition, whilst also helping to bridge the gap into professional sailing."

Over recent months The Defender and Challenger of Record have been working to agree the Protocol for the next America’s Cup which is due to be published on November 17th. The detailed document takes mutual agreement between both parties in creating the rules and parameters of the next event that all teams must accept as a condition of their entry into AC37. Both parties can confirm the next event will be a multi challenger event and not be a one on one event that has been speculated.

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The growing international consensus that the 37th America's Cup could be sailed in Cork Harbour in 2024 will be boosted by a buoyant Irish government 'cost-benefit analysis' prediction into the possibilities of an Irish staging of the world's third-biggest sporting event.

According to an Afloat source, the unpublished report is currently "stuck in the Dept of Sport" but reveals it could be worth €500m to Ireland. 

The figures contained in the report back the Irish bid conclusively the source says and are "€150m of cost to return €500m of hard benefits for Ireland". 

The €150m cost is broken down as €100m capital legacy/infrastructure such as the refurbishment of docks for berthing the high-speed foilers with €50m earmarked as a "current" spend.

Last month Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, who championed Cork Harbour's audacious bid, said he had put together a team of experts, including Ernst & Young, to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of hosting the event in Cork Harbour:  “EY are in the middle of finalising a cost-benefit analysis at the moment in terms of the financial value to the country of a global sporting event of this scale which many would say is third only to the Olympics and the football World Cup in terms of a hosting a global sporting event,” Coveney said.

The Taoiseach Micheal Martin (left) and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney were both afloat for the Royal Cork 300th celebrations late last month in Cork Harbour and used the opportunity to promote Ireland's America's Cup bid. Photo: Bob BatemanThe Taoiseach Micheal Martin (left) and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney were both afloat for the Royal Cork 300th celebrations late last month in Cork Harbour and used the opportunity to promote Ireland's America's Cup bid. Photo: Bob Bateman

While that report has not yet been announced its headline figures are proving an important selling point. According to the Afloat source this week, it is now understood that Team New Zealand, the holders of the Cup, and its sports management negotiators are ready to announce Ireland as the preferred bidder.

As regular Afloat readers will know Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney told Cabinet last month that Ireland’s bid has progressed to the final stage of judging, with Cork proposed as the host venue.

Coveney accompanied a team of specialists on a visit to Cork Harbour in June to assess everything from a site for a team village, local facilities and attractions, and the essential racing elements like wind speed, tides and the racing circuit.

A final decision is due this month, with Britain’s Isle of Wight, Spain’s Valencia, and Dubai also tipped as potential hosts in 2024, although no formal announcements have been made.

The sailing competition has been held in New Zealand on the last three occasions. Still, America’s Cup organisers announced last month that they had failed to reach a deal with the New Zealand government to host the next regatta in Auckland and look at alternative venues abroad.

In March, Team New Zealand (TNZ) successfully defended yachting’s most prestigious trophy, defeating Italy’s Luna Rossa 7-3 in waters of New Zealand’s largest city. Despite its Kiwi roots, TNZ is a private syndicate with no obligation to stage the next regatta in its home nation in 2024.

If the event gets the green light, Cork Dockyard has been earmarked as the likely lead infrastructure in the Harbour.

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The sailing communities in Cork and in Ireland generally are assessing and modifying their responses towards Cork Harbour’s developing and very active proposal to stage the America’s Cup.

It is a hugely complex subject and a massive and costly project, which nevertheless could have many significant beneficial side-effects - both immediate and long-term - for the area.

Sail World, the international network of sailing news and opinion, has published this comprehensive view of the Cork bid to give us an informed international perspective here

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Round the world sailor Damian Foxall has expressed support for Ireland’s attempt to host the prestigious America’s Cup yacht race in Cork harbour.

The Kerry-born professional sailor who has competed in six Volvo ocean races and won one, says any America’s Cup bid would have to be pursued with “eyes wide open” due to the high cost involved.

"The America's Cup is the pinnacle of match racing, and the boats are out of this world in terms of technology," Foxall said.

"To have in Cork would be such a great venue - if we can host Volvo Ocean Races as we did in Galway, and sail in the Olympics and have Tom Dolan competing in La Solitaire du Figaro, then why not have the America's Cup here in Ireland," he added.

Round the world sailor Damian FoxallRound the world sailor Damian Foxall - advises of high costs involved in staging an America's Cup in Ireland

“It is not too far fetched for Ireland to host an event like this, given that Galway hosted two Volvo ocean races - and fair dues to anyone trying to bring it here,” Foxall said.

“It would be wonderful for Ireland to host it, but the stakes are a lot higher, the risk is a lot higher and I’m not sure if the benefit is a lot higher,” Foxall said.

As Afloat has reported, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has confirmed that a team has been working on Ireland’s bid since January of this year.

The world’s biggest and oldest sailing event is ranked third only to the Olympics and a Football World Cup in sporting value for a host country.

The current cup holders Team New Zealand, have not yet decided if the 37th such event in 2024 will take place again in Auckland, Coveney said.

Spectator boats in AucklandSpectator boats watch the 36th match racing in Auckland in March Photo: Studio Borlenghi

It was recently reported that Team New Zealand began discussions abroad on alternative venues after turning down a bid from their home nation’s government worth NZ$99 million, or some €58.3 million.

Ireland has been among several venues explored for the New Zealanders by global sports investment group Origin Sports, headed by Cork-based Stewart Hosford.

Coveney confirmed that Belfast and Dublin had also been assessed initially, but Cork won out in terms of infrastructure and international links – and the fact the city is built on one of the world’s finest natural harbours.

The former Cork dockyard, a 44-acre site in Cobh, could provide a race village, and owners Doyle Shipping Group have been very supportive, Coveney said.

“We have made the case that we can replicate a home here in Cork harbour for Team New Zealand which has many similarities to Auckland,” he said.

Racing at the America's Cup in AucklandRacing at the America's Cup in Auckland - New Zealand’s business ministry estimated the America's Cup would be worth between 355 million euros to 592 million euros to the economy between 2018 and 2021 Photo: Studio Borlenghi

Coveney declined to comment on a figure for hosting the event, but said that Ernst and Young were liaising with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on a detailed cost-benefit analysis.

“How we fund it, whether it is through a combination of urban renewal and other funds, has to be worked out, but it won’t happen if we don’t show the economic benefit”, he said.

In 2017, New Zealand’s business ministry estimated the America's Cup would be worth between 355 million euros to 592 million euros to the economy between 2018 and 2021 and hosting the event would create between 4700 and 8300 jobs.

However, New Zealand recorded heavy losses on hosting the event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A spokesman for New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment confirmed to Afloat that a total of NZ$348.4 million (205 million euro) was spent by State authorities on America’s Cup-related capital and operating expenditure over four years.

Racing at the America's Cup in AucklandThe current cup holders Team New Zealand, have not yet decided if the 37th such event in 2024 will take place again in Auckland

“ A cost-benefit analysis identified that, when considering financial returns only, New Zealand got 48 cents back for every dollar put in," the spokesman said.

" The overall economic return of hosting the America’s Cup was lower than forecast due to the lower-than-expected number of Challengers, the impacts of Covid-19 and costs being higher than forecast,” the spokesman said.

Coveney has said that a successful bid to host the America’s Cup yacht race would establish Ireland as a “leader of the blue economy within the EU” and would also be a significant expression of the Government’s “Global Ireland” initiative”.

“Some 2.5 million people came to see it when it was last in Europe, and we have taken a lot of learning from the Valencia experience,” Coveney said.

Tea merchant Sir Thomas Lipton, the Aga Khan and media and business tycoons Ted Turner and Alan Bond are among those associated with supporting the sailing event.

The match racing between a “defender” and a “challenger” was first won by a syndicate from the New York Yacht Club in a race against Britain around the Isle of Wight in 1851.

The US successfully defended the trophy 24 times until 1983 when Australia secured it, and it was last hosted in Europe by the Spanish port of Valencia.

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The bidding process to host the next America's Cup attracted 35 expressions of interest from around the world with Ireland now down to the final two.

The number was revealed as Ireland's Minister of Foreign Affairs updated his cabinet on the Irish bid to hold the 37th edition of the America's Cup in Cork in 2024.

As Afloat reported earlier, Simon Coveney, a Cork Harbour sailor himself, explained details to his colleagues on Tuesday and appeared confident about Ireland's chances.

The possibility of Team New Zealand defending the Cup offshore has increased after a $99m bid by the New Zealand government and Auckland City was turned down because it didn't stack up financially, according to Stuff.co.nz

Coveney confirmed to his cabinet that Ireland had been shortlisted to host the event.

"There were initially 34 other countries expressing an interest. It was then reduced to 12 or 14 and then reduced to a much smaller number," Coveney explained after the cabinet meeting in a report carried by RTE and the Irish Times.

He said that Ireland can "host a fantastic 37th America's Cup, if we're given the opportunity to do it. And I think we're right in there with a chance to win".

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has confirmed that a team has been working on Ireland’s bid for the America’s Cup since January of this year.

The world’s biggest and oldest sailing event is ranked third only to the Olympics and a Football World Cup in sporting value for a host country.

Global viewership for the race in New Zealand this year was 940 million.

The current holders of the America’s Cup, Team New Zealand, have been exploring alternative venues after reportedly turning down a bid from their home nation’s government worth NZ$99 million, or some €58.3 million.

Ireland is on a shortlist, with Cork harbour as venue, and a final decision will be made in mid-September, Coveney said.

Coveney confirmed that Belfast and Dublin had also been assessed initially, but Cork won out in terms of infrastructure and international links – and the fact the city is built on one of the world’s finest natural harbours.

Galway was not considered due to lack of sufficient infrastructure and international connectivity, he said.

“Galway did host two Volvo Ocean Races and a lot of New Zealand sailors regard it as one of the most successful sporting events of all time,” Coveney said.

“There were some financial issues after the second Volvo ocean race, but that is a separate issue,” he said.

As an Irish port, Cork Harbour won out in terms of its infrastructure and international links says Minister Coveney Photo: Bob BatemanAs an Irish port, Cork Harbour won out in terms of its infrastructure and international links says Minister Coveney Photo: Bob Bateman

“We had New Zealanders asking us about Galway, but essentially it was down to infrastructure and international aviation links,” he said.

Global sports investment group Origin Sports, headed by Cork-based Stewart Hosford, recently led a fact-finding visit to Cork for Team New Zealand’s assessment team.

The former Cork dockyard, a 44-acre site in Cobh, could provide a race village, and owners Doyle Shipping Group have been very supportive, Coveney said.

Team New Zealand is the holder of the America's Cup Team New Zealand is the holder of the America's Cup Photo: Studio Borlenghi

“We have made the case that we can replicate a home here in Cork harbour for Team New Zealand which has many similarities to Auckland,” he said.

Coveney declined to comment on a figure for hosting the event but said that Ernst and Young were liaising with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on a detailed cost-benefit analysis.

“How we fund it, whether it is through a combination of urban renewal and other funds, has to be worked out, but it won’t happen if we don’t show the economic benefit”, he said.

In 2017, New Zealand’s business ministry estimated the America's Cup would be worth between 355 million euros to 592 million euros to the economy between 2018 and 2021 and hosting the event would create between 4700 and 8300 jobs.

The 2021 America's Cup was the most watched edition around the worldThe 2021 America's Cup was the most watched

However, New Zealand recorded heavy losses on hosting the event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coveney has said that a successful bid to host the America’s Cup yacht race would establish Ireland as a “leader of the blue economy within the EU” and would also be a significant expression of the Government’s “Global Ireland” initiative”.

Race Day 3 and spectator boats watch the action in Auckland Harbour during the 36th America's Cup in March 2021Race Day 3 and spectator boats watch the action in Auckland Harbour during the 36th America's Cup in March 2021

Auckland's Dockside Race Village with Rock The Dock with Rod Stewart in full swing in MarchAuckland's Dockside Race Village with Rock The Dock with Rod Stewart in full swing in March

“Some 2.5 million people came to see it when it was last in Europe, and we have taken a lot of learning from the Valencia experience,” Coveney said.

He said a successful bid would “fast-track Project Ireland 2040 investment in Cork, in particular Cork harbour’s ambition in becoming Ireland’s offshore renewable energy hub by supporting €5bn capital deployment in wind projects, creating 10,000 jobs over the next decade.”

Dr Val Cummins of Simply Blue Energy said that hosting an event like the America’s Cup would focus attention on Ireland’s island potential and its blue economy.

Professor sailor Maurice “Prof” O’Connell said that Ireland was in a very strong position to win the bid if it moves from New Zealand, and the proposed race hub at Cobh would be “tailor-made” for 60 to 70 superyachts.

“This is not just a weekend of sport, but a two year plus boost, with six or eight sailing teams basing themselves in the host country from 2022, along with designers, engineers, sports scientists, managers and so on,” O’Connell said.

Port of Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan – who first proposed publicly that Ireland should consider holding the America’s Cup - said that Galway had much expertise to offer, having hosted two Volvo ocean races.

“These new foiling boats we have seen in America’s Cup races don’t have keels, so don’t require depth of water – and Galway Bay is a natural amphitheatre for spectators,” Sheridan said.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney will update the Cabinet on Ireland’s bid to host the 37th America’s Cup following the news Cork Harbour has made it to a final list of potential locations to hold the AC37 sailing competition in 2024.

News of the 'memo being brought to cabinet' underlines the seriousness of how the state is now treating the prospect of landing one of the world's biggest sporting events.

Ministers will be told this morning that Cork Harbour has been proposed as the country's host venue.

The America’s Cup takes place every four years and requires preparation and planning over a 30-month lead-in period.The America’s Cup takes place every four years and requires preparation and planning over a 30-month lead-in period.

The America's Cup is the world's biggest sailing event.

It has taken place in New Zealand on the past three occasions but is expected to be held elsewhere in 2024.

According to media reports this morning, Coveney – a long time promoter of Cork Harbour and a sailor himself – has been working closely with the Taoiseach and the sports minister, Catherine Martin, over the last few months to bring the lucrative international sporting event to Irish shores.

The scene in Auckland Harbour in March as spectator boats gather for America's Cup racing Photo: Studio BorlenghiThe scene in Auckland Harbour in March as spectator boats gather for America's Cup racing Photo: Studio Borlenghi

As Afloat reported previously, New Zealand is the current holder of the cup, the oldest trophy in sport which predates the modern Olympics by 45 years. 

However, the New Zealand government is unlikely to agree on terms to stage the next event there for the fourth time, so an international competition has been ongoing to win the hosting of the 2024 competition.

Ireland is understood to be shortlisted and is one of two alternatives under consideration.

Racing takes place over a period of three to four months and the teams are based at the host venue for at least six months prior to the start of the competition and for as long as three years in the build-up period.Racing takes place over a period of three to four months and the teams are based at the host venue for at least six months prior to the start of the competition and for as long as three years in the build-up period. Photo: Studio Borlenghi

World's top three sporting events

The America's Cup is recognised as the third largest sporting event globally after the football World Cup and the Olympics, in terms of longevity, economic impact, and media exposure it delivers to the host venue. 

As Afloat previously reported, a team of specialists visited Cork Harbour in June and were accompanied by Mr Coveney to assess everything from a site for a team village and local facilities and attractions, as well as the essential racing elements such as wind speed, tides, and the racing circuit.

More on RTE here and more from the Examiner here

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Cork Harbour's goal to host the America's Cup is understood to be a step closer after initial assessments in June saw the Irish venue as a 'strong possibility'.

It appears more unlikely that the next AC 37 will not be staged by Cup defenders New Zealand on its home waters, as the event could not be justified again in Auckland in 2024.

The Cup winners are seeking alternative cities to stage the event worldwide, and several countries expressed interest as Afloat reported here.

America's Cup fans watch the action in AucklandAmerica's Cup fans watch the action in Auckland Photo: Studio Borlenghi

In the latest update, Cork Harbour is understood to be in a 'leading position' after an initial assessment by the organisers was 'exceedingly positive'.

Afloat contributor Maurice O'Connell, who has been following the bid process, says Cork is 'down to the last two cities' on a shortlist of alternatives.

O'Connell explained on this week's RTE Seascapes Radio show that part of the problem for the Kiwis was that they sailed into an economic storm in the New Zealand capital.

They expected eight teams to compete for the cup but got just three.

Nevertheless, the event attracted massive viewing figures of close to 900m from around the world.

Cork Dockyard

If the event gets the green light, Cork Dockyard has been earmarked as the likely lead infrastructure in the Harbour, according to O'Connell.

It's a ready-made 44 acres site that has all that is needed for an America's Cup village including a deep water berth.

2024 America's Cup destination? It is estimated 55 to 70 superyachts would visit Cork Harbour before and during the 2024 Cup which would be a significant local spin-off from the event. 2024 America's Cup destination? It is estimated 55 to 70 superyachts would visit Cork Harbour before and during the 2024 Cup which would be a significant local spin-off from the event. Photo: Bob Bateman

O'Connell says the government will be required to make an initial investment, but there's potential for a significant return to the nation, economically.

In June, in response to questions about Cork's Cup bid, a spokesman for Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney said, “Mr Coveney attended a number of briefings and presentations on the excellent facilities and sites Cork City and Harbour has to offer for major international tournaments" but would make no other comment. 

As Afloat also previously reported it is likely any bid has to beat NZ’s already rejected €58M offer.

It is estimated 55 to 70 superyachts would visit Cork before and during the 2024 Cup which would be a significant local spin-off from the event. 

Grant Dalton, the chief of winning team Emirates Team New Zealand, will decide on the 2024 Cup venue this September.

The America's Cup, the pinnacle of yachting, was first contested in 1851 making it the oldest trophy in international sport, predating the modern Olympic Games by 45 years. It is a competition in which Ireland has a rich past but as Afloat's WM Nixon noted in February, Ireland's eight America's Cup Challenges are now remote history.

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The 36th America’s Cup achieved its clear broadcast and viewership objectives, say organisers, to be the most-watched America’s Cup ever with the dedicated viewership audience 3.2 x the size of that from the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017.

An in-depth broadcast and media analysis was undertaken by Nielsen revealed the AC36 events (ACWS Auckland, PRADA CUP & America’s Cup Match) between November 2020- March 2021 reached a total global TV and live streaming audience of 941 million people globally.

An in-depth broadcast and media analysis was undertaken by NielsenAn in-depth broadcast and media analysis was undertaken by Nielsen

The record audiences delivered significant value for the sponsors and hosts of the 36th America’s Cup. The measurement and evaluation analysis shows a Total Gross Media Value of over NZD$1.4 billion for the event, teams, hosts and sponsors.

“We were always very clear in our broadcast and viewership objectives after we won the America’s Cup in Bermuda,” said Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton. “It is great we have achieved, in fact exceeded, our expectations in growing the sport and the event globally, despite the many challenges we faced. Technically we raised the bar with the TV coverage due to our production partnerships with Circle-O, ARL, Igtimi, Shotover, Amis Productions and the whole production crew and commentary team in Auckland.”

At 68.2m, the dedicated TV audience for the 36th America’s was more than 3 x that of the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda (20.5m). The dedicated audience includes all those who watched the event LIVE, delayed or highlights on TV, americascup.com, YouTube and Facebook.

The aim of the 36th America’s Cup’s global TV coverage was to inspire new fans and grow the sport of sailing and the America’s Cup. This was delivered by prioritising free to air broadcast partnerships, supplemented by additional major pay tv networks, and by retaining live streaming rights on americascup.com and America’s Cup social media channels.

The culmination of this approach in distribution saw the live and highlights 36th America’s Cup TV broadcast from Auckland, New Zealand screened across 55 major network broadcasters covering 198 territories. The live streaming online via digital channels was live and free in 236 territories across the world.

The coverage consisted of:

  • 21 live production days
  • 25 live press conferences
  • 21 daily 26min highlights
  • 7 weekend/event 52min highlights
  • 30 video news releases
  • Racing clips + melt reel
  • 140 features each lasting 3min
  • 3 magazine/preview shows
  • 1 post event documentary: The Last Call

The TV graphics by Animation Research Ltd in Dunedin continued to lead the innovation through the implementation of on water augmented reality graphics which helped to tell the story of the dramatic racing in the AC75’s, as well as providing additional highly effective exposure to the event sponsors.

At 68.2m, the dedicated TV audience for the 36th America’s was more than 3 x that of the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda (20.5m)At 68.2m, the dedicated TV audience for the 36th America’s was more than 3 x that of the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda (20.5m)

Social media was a further area of strong growth across all the America’s Cup channels. Followers more than doubled from 491k to 1.09m between the 35th and 36th America’s Cups. Social media channels delivered over three times more impressions than the previous 35th edition, increasing from 159m to 499m impressions during the racing period and totalled 715m impressions over the entire 36th America’s Cup campaign.

Viewing of racing online and through social media was integral to the overall viewership strategy. By reserving the digital rights for the event to enable live streaming of the racing for free to as many people globally as possible and by streaming on YouTube, Facebook and americascup.com, the America’s Cup grew the dedicated audience by 10.2m viewers, which is equivalent to 19% of the TV audience.

The America’s Cup YouTube live-streamed every race and press conference from the opening of the ACWS through to the prize-giving of the 36th America’s Cup leading to 7.9 million viewers watching 7.7 million hours of America’s Cup content over 36 million sessions. Simply put, on average, each user consumed just under an hour of America’s Cup racing while the event was on.

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