Americans fume after Diamond League broadcast is switched to new 'expensive' network

Diamond League Trophy.

Americans fume after Diamond League broadcast is switched to new 'expensive' network

Joel Omotto 13:00 - 11.04.2024

Track and field fans in America have joined athletes in slamming a decision to move the Diamond League broadcast from an affordable network to one that costs five times more.

Former world 100m champion Fred Kerley has joined athletics fans in the US to slam a decision to switch the Diamond League broadcast from a pocket-friendly network to a new channel that costs five times more.

FloSports signed a multi-year deal to stream and distribute the Diamond League in the US and its territories starting in 2025 and will from this year air World Athletics Continental Tour Gold label and World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold label events.

They will also broadcast 14 of the Diamond League's 15 events, excluding the Prefontaine Classic, in 2025 although the financial terms and specific length of the contract were not disclosed.

That decision means Americans will have to pay five times more for the premier annual track and field series given the Diamond League is currently televised on NBC’s networks and streamed on Peacock for $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year but on Flotrack, they will have to pay a monthly subscription of $29.99 and $149.99 annually starting in 2025.

Kerley is among track and field fans who have expressed their dismay at the decision, feeling it will even kill the popularity of the sport given the high prices are likely to suppress interest.

“We got some cold a** YouTube in the track and field community that can promote the sports from high school all the way to professional that got podcast a platform to elevator sport to higher heights,” Kerley posted online.

“Ya’ll mind you it’s $29.99 for a monthly Flo Track subscription. That’s more than Netflix and Hulu put together,” popular athletics vlogger RealTalkWithTee posted in reaction to the news.

“For a sport that [is] desperately trying to grow, to put it on a track streaming outlet that also costs more monthly doesn’t help the cause,” another athletics blogger Track Spice posted.

Fans also weighed in on the issue with most of them giving the decision a thumps down.

“Couldn’t be me lol. Love the sport, but not enough for this subscription lol,” posted a fan online.

“I signed up for Peacock just for track! I’m not signing up for Flotrack at that price,” commented another one.

“More ways to lose viewers…. Bc [because] I’m not getting Flo subscription,” was the opinion of another supporter.

“Track is officially dead on American TV! This is criminal how they let them at Flo highjack our sport!”

Some supporters are bewildered that such a decision has been made when the powers that be are desperately trying to grow track and field in America.

“Thought they were trying to grow the sport. Make it make sense,” wondered a fan while another one posed: “How are they expecting to grow the sport when making you pay for viewership?”

“Not everyone can continue to add a new service every time a sport or specific games move to a higher priced service. Track needs to increase its fanbase. This marketing ploy will NOT do that.”

However, there are some who are thrilled by the move.

“I’m pumped coz I’ve had a FloSports sub [subscription] for a couple of years. To each his own though. Some people spend more than $29 in one outing weekly. As a homebody, I choose to spend mine on FloSports. I also use it to watch other sports that you won’t find on Cable in the US like Rugby,” said an excited fan.

The deal with FloSports will also look to capitalise on the Paris Olympics, where track and field is one of the most popular events every four years but has not been able to take advantage of the widespread popularity outside of that.

FloTrack will also include content around the live competitions, with pre-produced athlete packages, shoulder programming and behind-the-scenes features.

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