Viking River Cruises has finalized an agreement to renew its national corporate sponsorship of PBS’ MASTERPIECE for two additional years. The new deal will extend through 2014 and will support programming that includes season three of the Emmy® Award-winning series Downton Abbey. (We love this show) Viking first came onboard as a MASTERPIECE national corporate sponsor in late 2011.
“Our partnership over the last year has been an overwhelming success, and we are proud to continue our association with the finest programming on television,” said Richard Marnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Viking River Cruises.
“Viking River Cruises has been an exemplary partner for MASTERPIECE,” said MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton. “The fact that they are extending their sponsorship for two more years proves that MASTERPIECE viewers and Viking’s travelers are an excellent fit.”
Having recently celebrated its 40th year on PBS, MASTERPIECE is enjoying a significant surge in popularity. Hit programs such as Downton Abbey and Sherlock have helped boost the audience for the series by 107 percent since 2008. This year, MASTERPIECE has received 37 Emmy® Award nominations – the highest number it has ever received in a single season – with Downton Abbey alone receiving 16 nods. Fall 2012 titles for MASTERPIECE include a third season of the popular Wallander series, starring Kenneth Branagh, and a second season of the Emmy®-nominated Upstairs Downstairs, with Alex Kingston joining the cast. In January 2013, Downton Abbey returns for a third season.
With river cruising now the fastest-growing segment of travel, Viking is currently celebrating its 15th anniversary and the biggest year in the company’s history. The cruise line is launching six new Viking Longships in 2012 – an industry first – and this month announced that it would break that record with the arrival of eight new ships in 2013.
As an extension of its MASTERPIECE sponsorship, Viking also recently announced an optional Oxford & Highclere Castle pre- or post- trip experience for travelers on the Cities of Light or Paris & the Heart of Normandy cruises.
On this itinerary extension, Viking guests will spend three days in the rolling hills of England’s countryside, with a champagne welcome and special tour of Highclere Castle, known to television audiences worldwide as Downton Abbey.
Flickr photo by floato