A month after the 2019 FINA World Championships came and went without airing on television for Australian audiences for the first time since 1986, Paralympics Australia announced Wednesday that the upcoming World Para Swimming Championships will air on the Seven Network.
Channel 7 will make history as the first Australian commercial network to screen the World Para Swimming Championships, according to the announcement. The network will stream heats and finals live on 7Plus, and also produce a daily 30-minute highlights package that will screen on 7TWO.
The deal between Paralympics Australia and the Seven Network also includes the 2019 World Para-athletics Championships in November. Seven also aired the 2016 and 2018 Paralympic Games.
“Seven has done a remarkable job in broadcasting the past two Paralympic Games, and now by broadcasting such a major event for one of our biggest Paralympic sports, Seven is further showing its commitment to supporting the Paralympic movement in Australia,” Paralympics Australia CEO Lynne Anderson said. “We are incredibly grateful for Seven’s dedication to our movement, and we are so excited to watch some of our Tokyo 2020 hopefuls make a splash in London from the comfort of our own homes or on our devices wherever we may be.”
According to The Daily Telegraph, no Australian broadcaster bought the rights to July’s Worlds due to the high price FINA demanded. The Daily Morning Herald‘s Phil Lutton reported the figure to be in the $400,000-range, and that that number could have nearly doubled with the cost of travel as well as the broadcasting crew.
In the end, Australian fans could either watch (live or on-demand) through FINA’s own FINAtv service, or through Swimming Australia’s free livestream on its iSwim app, only available for download in Australia.