By Nick Butler at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo

Free coverage on YouTube will be a way to broadcast the Freestyle and Snowboarding World Championships, it is hoped ©AFP/Getty ImagesCoverage of the International Ski Federation (FIS) Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships will be broadcast free-of-charge on YouTube for the first time next January, it was announced 

In conjunction with media rights partner Infront Sports & Media, action of the event, due to place at Kreischberg in Austria from January 15 to 25, will be shown on the dedicated FIS Snowboard and FIS Freestyle YouTube channels.

This will mark the first time that fans of the two disciplines will be provided with online live coverage free-of-charge, with it being hoped that this will be a way to spread the appeal of the sport to new parts of the world.

The coverage will be carried out via an high definition television live signal with graphics and English commentary, and will only not be available in the host country Austria and in territories where exclusive media rights agreements are in place.

"With athletes from 45 nations competing, the snowboard and freestyle skiing events hold high appeal in the global skiing community - especially among a young fan base," said FIS marketing manager Marcel Looze, who made the announcement to coincide with the Sportel Convention currently taking place here. 

"Benefiting from Infront's production capabilities and digital media expertise, we have developed a strong concept to leverage the potential of our existing YouTube channels and make this FIS World Championship available to fans all around the world."

The coverage should also build upon the extra popularity generated earlier this year at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games ©Getty ImagesThe coverage should also build upon the extra popularity generated earlier this year at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games ©Getty Images

This innovation also forms part of the FIS's effort to raise the profile of the event because 2015 marks the first occasion in which the Freestyle and Snowboard World Championship competitions are being staged together at the same time.

It is hoped that cross promotions spanning both live streaming channels will add to the all-round impact of the sport and boost awareness of each disciplines' online broadcast product.

"Our aim is always to bring sport to the fans and to offer the most convenient means of access to enjoy the best live experience," said Bruno Marty, Infront executive director of winter sports. 

"The extended, free-of-charge programming on the YouTube channels has been developed to complement the TV coverage for these particularly youth orientated disciplines.

"High numbers of the freestyle and snowboard fans engage intensively with the sport in the digital realm.

"We are proud to be supporting the FIS in this pilot scheme, as it contributes to expanding the overall reach of the sport of skiing and its flagship events across all different disciplines."

The freestyle skiing television channel can be found here, while the snowboarding one is accessible here.

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