All I want for Christmas is FLIBS

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Organizers of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show said NBC Sports will air a televised special covering the 59 edition of the show. The special will air on December 23.

The program will be an “insider’s view” of FLIBS filmed at the 2018 event, according to a statement.

“The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is an annual event that has an economic impact larger than any Superbowl,” said Phil Purcell, CEO/president of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, which owns the show, in the statement. “Sales of everything from paddleboards to megayachts contribute to more than $500 million – or $100 million a day – in direct sales.”

Purcell said its partnership with NBC Sports allows it to showcase the FLIBS’ “$857 million statewide impact to a national television audience for the first time.”

The special is part of a three-year deal with the network. It will highlight debuts of the “world’s most extraordinary vessels as well as performance reviews and technical innovations in superlative modern boats,” said the statement.

The NBC Sports Network program also will reveal the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show’s “Best of Show” award for the first time as well as the trophy presentation ceremony. Created by industrial designer Derek Jenkins, the trophy will be presented to the most innovative new boat model design. A panel of judges included: ocean conservationist Fabien Cousteau; Francois-Xavier Hotier, president of Ulysse Nardin; Delta Private Jets CEO Jeff Mihalic; and architects Charles Sieger and Jose Suarez.

“Year over year, we explore ways to reach new audiences and share the extraordinary experiences of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,” said Andrew Doole, general manager of Informa U.S. Boat Shows, which manages and produces the show. “We are thrilled to make our network debut on NBC Sports Network and are excited to share this world-class event with sports fans around the nation.”

FLIBS is the world’s largest in-water boat show. It displays more than 1,500 boats, as well as different boating activities and marine equipment from 1,200 exhibitors representing 52 countries. The show encompasses more than three million square feet of exhibit space across seven locations.