The deal is a bit of a shakeup for both the ISL and for competitive swimming. Last year, the ISL reached a deal with ESPN for broadcasting within the United States. That deal wasn’t announced until the day before the league’s first match. Televised swimming events have typically resided with ESPN (which holds the rights to NCAA Championships meets) and NBC (which holds Olympic broadcast rights and typically broadcasts World Championships as well).
The International Swimming League is in its second season as a professional swimming league centered around spectator-friendliness and athlete compensation.
Though the league envisioned a major launch to a 6-month, 27-meet season riding momentum from the 2020 Olympics, the coronavirus pandemic postponed the Olympics one year and forced the ISL into alternative plans. The new model will bring league athletes together in Budapest for a five-week training camp that will feature all of the league’s regular-season events. The league has also teased plans for an over-the-top streaming platform that would show behind-the-scenes footage of athletes in training and away from the pool during the five-week block.