Play Magnus Group has entered into an agreement with NRK and TV 2 for the Norwegian broadcasting rights for the new digital chess tour The Champions Chess Tour in 2021.
“Our vision is to develop chess into an international TV sport,” Arne Horvei, Tour Director in Play Magnus Group, said.
“The agreement with NRK and TV 2 gives us important income, but even more valuable is their joint commitment to chess. Their expertise in broadcasting chess on TV is important for our work to commercialize the sport.”
The Champions Chess Tour was conceived during the Covid-19 outbreak in the spring of 2020, when all physical chess tournaments were cancelled.
The first season, which went by the name Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, was the first professional online chess tour and became a great success.
The tour included 5 tournaments, and 25 of the world’s best players participated. The tour reached millions of unique viewers on various streaming platforms and TV.
In the Champions Chess Tour 2021, which runs from November 2020 to September 2021, Magnus Carlsen and the world’s top players will meet in a total of ten tournaments.
The games will take place online on chess24 for a total prize fund of USD 1.5 million.
Vegard Jansen Hagen, sports editor at TV 2, said: “For TV 2, it was completely natural to continue investing in online chess after the good experiences we had with the first season.
“We have collaborated with NRK on the rights to many different sports lately, and are happy that we can cooperate in providing exciting chess experiences for Norwegian TV viewers in the coming year. The Champions Chess Tour is perfect for this.”
Egil Sundvor, sports editor of NRK, said: “At NRK, we have traditionally primarily focused on the World Championships. At the same time, chess has gone digital in record time, and this year’s tour was of high quality and showed a lot of excitement.”
Andreas Thome, CEO of Play Magnus Group, said: “Champions Chess Tour is an important block for our company’s growth as there are great synergies across the services. The tour is both able to utilize our services for play, analysis and more, and provides a unique marketing opportunity for our other products.”