World Ski Championships

Sponsoring and TV rights

In 1970 any kind of publicity or advertizing on bibs, at the start, along the slope and in the finish area was out of law and any organization not observing this rule would loose the right of doing races. The reason was that the International Ski Federation was afraid of loosing the olympic status. As a matter of fact, alpine skiing was regarded with suspicion by O.C. president Avery Brundage. The O.C. was allowed, however, to have technical partners such as Coca Cola, FIAT, Siemens and some other international companies. TV rights were held by FIS, and RAI supplied the TV feed to Eurovision on an exchange base. US rights were sold by FIS for 100 million Liras, to be shared at a rate of 70% to Gardena/Gröden for the Alpine Championships and 30% to the High Tatras for the Nordic ones.


The 1970 Championships were an important event for RAI (Italian Television) as it was the first time a ski race was being transmitted in color. There was a lot of suspence both due to young Gustav Thöni as well as to the possibility to have Carlo Senoner's gold medal of Portillo of four years ago repeated. The total time of transmissions in Italy reached more than 18 hours, RAI's staff in the valley was well over 300 persons working in two TV studios with 28 cameras, 20 radio transmitters and 17 miles of cables. A big involvement for a Championship of 30 years ago. It is sufficient to know that the RAI studio built up in Ortisei/St.Ulrich was the third in importance after Rome and Milan. Color transmission went to the US and other 12 countries whereas for Italy, where color transmission hadn't been introduced yet, a so called "color-killer" was used in order to obtain black-and-white pictures.