Melding elements of ice hockey, downhill skating and boarder-cross, the official Ice Cross Downhill World Championship will air Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. on the Peacock, marking the premiere of the new programming partnership between NBC Sports Group and Red Bull Media House.
Under the banner The Red Bull Signature Series, Red Bull Media House, along with the NBC Sports Group and its action sports arm Alli, is developing 35 hours of action sports fare, showcasing progressive and innovative snowboarding, mountain biking, freestyle motocross, ice cross downhill, skiing and BMX events throughout 2012.This coverage will be presented on NBC and national cable network NBC Sports Network, nee Versus, plus various digital and social media outlets. The spotlight will also follow action-sports athletes who engage in these alternative competitions. Sal Masekela is serving as host of the new franchise.
Red Bull Media House, which also has programming associations with ESPN and Fox Sports Media Group's Fuel TV, had previously worked with NBC, Versus, Universal HD and Universal on World of Adventure Sports fare. That programming was managed and produced by Aura360 and 360 Productions and is owned and managed by Aura360, Global Content Partners and Red Bull in conjunction with NBC Sports Ventures.
In the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship, four international athletes compete on a frozen downhill ice canal course full of mind-and-body-bending twists, turns and chutes. Lining up, they duke it out shoulder to shoulder until one crosses the finish line first.
Werner Brell, managing director at Red Bull Media House North America, said the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship event, was filmed the weekend of Jan. 14-15 before 85,000 spectators in St. Paul, Minn., where the temperature was 6 degrees.
Brell noted the two-hour show is first in an array of action sports action that will manifest under the The Red Bull Signature Series throughout 2012.
"We've found niche audiences, but with this deal Red Bull Media is looking to bring action sports to a new arena, reaching broader, more mainstream audiences on NBC and NBC Sports Network," he said. "These are platforms that will expose these sports and athletes, through event coverage and story-telling, to a larger audience."
Werner said Red Bull Media House began talking with NBC Sports Group and its chairman Mark Lazarus last July and August about the Signature Series. He said the programming is not emanating via a time buy, but declined to detail specifics about the "partnership," other than to note that Red Bull and NBC are both involved in integrated sponsorship sales.
"The partnership is an amazing opportunity to create a new global property with a terrific brand in Red Bull, which already produces premium events and world class content," said Alli Sports president Wade Martin. "The Red Bull Signature Series has amazing growth potential and provides a tremendous opportunity for other brands to be part of the world's most unique sporting events with the NBC Sports Group and Red Bull Media House."
n addition to Crashed Ice, the series also features such top Red Bull events as X-Fighters, Supernatural, Dream Line, Rampage and Cold Rush. Check out more details at www.redbullsignatureseries.com.
Other Red Bull Signature Series programming highlight include:
*Red Bull X-Fighters: The world's best freestyle motocross riders travel the globe to compete in the premiere FMX series at some of the most iconic locations on the planet.
* Red Bull Rampage: The creative, unrestricted ethos of free-ride mountain biking comes to the contest arena while staying true to the sport's core ideals. Poised on a sandstone ridge in the brutal landscape near Virgin, Utah, riders choose whatever line they dare between an established start gate and the finish line 1,500 foot below.
* Red Bull Supernatural: The brainchild of snowboarding icon Travis Rice (The Art of Flight), the event is a first-of-its-kind backcountry competition designed to showcase the skills of the best all-around riders on the planet. Over 100 man-made features have been built on the slope over summer, so upon snowfall a series of tree-line features, jumps and drops will emerge creating the ultimate backcountry run.
* Red Bull Dream Line: Sixteen of the world's best BMX dirt riders meet at Anthony Napolitan's private training facility in Minnesota, riding an un-restricted trails-style course.
*Red Bull Cold Rush: The invitation-only event returns for its second year at its Stateside home of Silverton Mountain in Colorado. Only accessible via helicopter or hiking, the high-alpine bowls, chutes and cliffs are home to the three-day competition, comprising three disciplines - big mountain, cliffs, and slopestyle. This peer-judged event will determine the best all-around backcountry skier.
Earlier this week. The Red Bull Channel, a partner since 2007 and one of the leading sports providers on YouTube, added four new original episodic series to the platform: "Living Louis Vitto," "Bobby's Life," "Chasing Summer" and "Who is J.O.B. 2.0."
The series chronicle the competition and daily lives of some of the world's top action sports athletes, notably urban mountain biker and YouTube celebrity, Danny MacAskill, snowboarding pro Louie Vito, action sports phenom Travis Pastrana, big wave surfer Jamie O'Brien and professional skateboarder, Ryan Sheckler.