Vladimir Kramnik, the number two ranked player in the world, and former World Champion, has backed Agon in its efforts to control the live broadcasting rights of games at the Candidates Tournament.
In an exclusive interview with WorldChess.com, Mr Kramnik, said: “If you want to make chess professional, if you want to help chess to grow, you have to understand very clearly that the organizer of any chess tournament has full transmission rights.
“The chess public, chess professionals and chess lovers depend on the organizers of events – so they have to benefit as well. I fully support this (broadcast) innovation.” He added that chess fans around the world were not being penalized by Agon’s ongoing efforts to control the live transmission of games and moves from World Championship events.
“There is no problem for the public,” he said. “There is a fantastic internet transmission with great commentary on the official website. No one is suffering form it.
“Because the organizer has invested a lot of money and effort to organize the tournament, morally and legally they have full rights over the live transmission. That is the way football, tennis and other sports have became successful. It is the way chess can jump to a totally different level.”
All video footage as well as the moves from each game in the Candidates are being shown exclusively at WorldChess.com and by approved broadcast partners in certain countries.
This is a substantial change from the way chess has been broadcasted. Previously it was common practice that all websites were able to receive moves without broadcast limitations, resulting in a diffusion of major tournaments’ audiences and sponsorship values.
The move is designed to enhance and safeguard the viewing experience for chess fans and to protect the commercial future of World Championship events.
The full interview with Vladimir Kramnik can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/embed/TG2FrHBxA5o
To download the raw video file for broadcast please go to: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/eg75xmosr9vkcmt/AABu5gQXvqLZYGPZ-fu4LW--a?dl=0
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About Agon Ltd
Agon Limited is the official partner of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) and owner the World Chess brand as well as commercial rights holder to the World Chess Championship cycle. The company aims to develop and commercialize chess, create favorable environment for partners, players, and brands, and to significantly expand the broadcast coverage of the sport.
Agon Limited became owner of the commercial rights in 2012. The company successfully managed the 2012-2013 Grand Prix cycle, the 2014 World Championship Match, and the 2015 Rapid and Blitz World Championships. The company operates the WorldChess.Com website, the official broadcasting platform of the Championship cycle.