NBC Sports Group will cover the 59th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this December on NBCSN, the first in a three-year agreement.
“The goal is to showcase the boats, the lifestyle, the event and then the region,” Marine Industries Association of South Florida president and CEO Phil Purcell told Trade Only Today. “Why does the biggest show in the world take place in Fort Lauderdale? Because it’s the refit and sales capital of the world, with an $11.5 billion economic impact in the region.”
Owned by MIASF and produced by Informa Exhibitions, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is heading into its 59th year, now with more than 1,500 boats on display and three million square feet of exhibit space.
“No other show in the industry has a major uplink to a major network affiliate,” Purcell said. “The result will be an hour special. But the bigger picture is, how do we leverage some of the other assets that NBC has, like Squawk Box and the Today Show?”
December’s telecast on NBCSN marks the first of three consecutive years that the network will provide coverage of the show.
Modeled after NBC Sports’ North American International Auto Show Special, the program will showcase the latest vessels, technical innovations, and performance reviews, as well as highlight the wide array of lifestyle amenities, like hospitality, dining, and shopping options in the area.
Additionally, a “Best of Show” trophy created by industrial designer, Derek Jenkins, will be presented to the most innovative new model design on display.
The concept was born after NBC Sports took over the IndyCar franchise, Purcell said.
“Townsend Bell, one of the IndyCar analysts and Ferrari drivers, is a boater and well connected in the NBC Sports realm,” Purcell said. “So what started as a concept became a reality.”
NBC is rights to the Super Bowl as well, and a lot of franchise owners and coaches are also in the industry, and Purcell hopes this will spawn other shows focused on the overall national industry in locations across the country.
“You have fishing shows, flip a house, flop a house, RV shows, but no shows about how boats connect families, whether it’s a paddleboard or a 13-foot Whaler or a yacht” Purcell said. “We’re the cornerstone and the centerpiece, but the octopus has tentacles that can go out and bring these people into the community.”
Andrew Doole, VP and General Manager of Informa Exhibitions, said he immediately embraced the idea of televising the show.
“Informa is excited to showcase the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to a national audience on NBCSN,” Doole said in a statement. “The program will be a unique inside peek into the diverse world of boating that will appeal to all ages and all budgets.”
“The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show represents some of the finest yachts and high-performance boats in the world, and we look forward to showcase this world-class event on NBCSN,” said NBC Sports Group senior programming director Jeff Macaluso.
Filming will take place at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show from October 31-November 4. The exact date and time for this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show telecast on the network will be determined in the coming weeks.