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Eurosport Group and RCS Sport have lengthened their existing partnership for an additional four years, with extended and upgraded live production and broadcasting in HD.

The terms of the deal, brokered on behalf of the content rights owner by audiovisual rights consultant IMG Media, includes all 70 territories covered by Eurosport in Europe and Asia-Pacific region and involves 2013-2016 TV and digital rights for the Giro d'Italia as well as five other major Italian cycling races: Milan - Sanremo, the Giro di Lombardia, Tirreno-Adriatico, Strade Bianche and Roma Maxima.

The deal will also see more live action produced, with three hours of live coverage per stage for the Giro and a minimum of two hours live coverage per day for the other races of competition. All races will also be available in HD for the first time.

Eurosport will also have sub-licensing rights for the Italian races in all the European territories where Eurosport is exclusive. Digital rights will see all races broadcast on Internet and mobile on the Eurosport Player online video streaming service.

Commenting on the deal, Giacomo Catano, RCS Sport chief executive officer, said: “We are so proud and happy about this contract renewal with Eurosport for the TV coverage of our cycling events. Eurosport has been our partner since 1998 and we appreciate this continuous partnership based on mutual trust. We are confident that it will grant both RCS Sport and Eurosport improved results in terms of quality of production and consequently a high audience."

Added Laurent-Eric Le Lay, chairman, Eurosport Group said: "Eurosport has been a long-term partner of Giro d'Italia since 1998 and contributed to the continuous growth of this premium property in Europe and to the development of its [popularity] in Asia and Pacific."

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